Monday, February 11, 2019

Sanduiche de Forno - Oven Sandwich

On Sunday nights, I don't cook.  Not because I don't like cooking, you know I love it, but it's usually a day that I take off since I am in the kitchen every other day of the week.

We either snack all day long, or have cereal or sandwiches or leftovers. 

But there are Sunday nights that I feel like getting into the kitchen and making something quick and easy. 

Last night was one of those, I wanted a quick meal, but equally yummy, and that's when I remembered a simple, yet delicious dish that I hadn't made in a couple years.

It is quite popular in Brazil and even Portugal, and the best part is that the variations are endless, but this is the most common way I make it.  Also, it is easily adapted to cater to a big crowd, or just 2 or 3 people.

Sanduiche de Forno - Oven Sandwich

Sliced bread
Ham, Cheese of your choice - I also added some leftover mini pepperoni that I had in the fridge
Pizza sauce
Shredded Cheese
Tomato slices
Optional:  You can add sliced onion and even olives along with the tomato slices

In a baking dish, put a little bit of the pizza sauce.  Just enough to cover the bottom.  Next cut off remove the bread crusts, and then place a layer of the slices over the sauce, covering the whole dish.

Now you're going to start layering the ingredients, starting by spreading a good slather of mayonnaise on the bread.  Next sprinkle on some shredded cheese of your choice, sprinkle some oregano, then a layer of ham, layer of sliced cheese, spread on some more pizza sauce. 

Do another layer of bread, mayo, shredded cheese, ham, sliced cheese and pizza sauce.

To finish off, another layer of bread, then a final layer of mayonnaise, some more shredded cheese, then top with sliced tomato and sprinkle some more oregano.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Hot Sesame Pork

Hot Sesame Pork

I pulled out my cookbooks the other day, when I was working on my menu plan.

So often we forget that we have a myriad of delicious recipes at our fingertips, and it's easy to get stuck in a rut and basically make the same thing over and over.

But at times we get a little tired and want something new, so I made up my whole menu plan using newish recipes to us and so far, everyone has enjoyed it.

This one is going on our favorites list, it tastes amazing and it's not too complicated to make.  Besides, if you can get Asian food at home without having to order take-out, why not?

I adapted the recipe slightly to suit our needs, but I'll tell you below where and what I did.

Hot Sesame Pork

Hot Sesame Pork
Source: America's Best Recipes

1/2 (16-ounce) package wonton wrappers
2 pounds boneless pork loin, trimmed
3/4 cup sesame seeds, divided (I didn't use sesame seeds in this recipe)
1 cup vegetable oil, divided
/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup dark sesame oil, divided
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
10 to 12 small green onions, sliced
1 (10-ounce) package mixed salad greens (I served mine with Basmati Rice instead)
1 bok choy, shredded(I used some coleslaw mix, just eyeballed it)

*I also added in half a small onion, sliced thinly

Cut wonton wrappers into 1/2-inch strips, and cut pork into 3- x 1-inch strips; set aside. Toast 1/2 cup sesame seeds in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes; remove from skillet.

Pour 1/2 cup vegetable oil into skillet; heat to 375°. Fry wonton strips in batches until golden. Drain on paper towels; set aside. Drain skillet.

Combine remaining 1/4 cup sesame seeds, flour, salt, and pepper in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; add pork. Seal and shake to coat.

Pour 2 tablespoons sesame oil into skillet; place over medium heat. Fry half of pork in hot oil, stirring often, 6 to 8 minutes or until golden. Remove and keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil and pork.  Add in the onion and coleslaw mix at this point, cook until onion is tender.

Process toasted sesame seeds, remaining 1/2 cup vegetable oil, soy sauce, and vinegar in a blender 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth. Combine pork and green onions; drizzle with soy sauce mixture, tossing gently.

Combine mixed greens and bok choy; top with pork mixture and fried wonton strips.(I topped the pork mixture with the fried wonton strips, and then served it along with the rice)

Serve immediately.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Malva Pudding - South African

Growing up in South Africa, I was able to not only continue to enjoy my Portuguese heritage through the meals we ate at home, but also be privy to the wonderful South African food.  Things like Koeksisters, Vetkoek, Mince Roll, Melktert and the amazing Malva Pudding.

I actually took Home Economics in school and I remember making it as one of our projects.  I'm sure I don't have to tell you that Home Ec. was my favorite subject in school, do I?  Especially when it was cooking day.

Anyway, I thought I had shared this recipe with you all, but after looking through the blog this morning, I noticed that I hadn't, and the last time I actually made the Malva Pudding was back in 2014.  Wow, that needs to be remedied and fast.  I think I will make one this weekend.

Malva Pudding

Malva Pudding
Source:  Rhodes


1½ Cups cream
½ Cup butter, cut into blocks
¾ Cups + 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon Rhodes Apricot Jam (Just use whatever apricot jam you have on hand)


2 Tablespoons butter
⅓ Cup + 4 teaspoons dark brown sugar
3 Tablespoons Rhodes Apricot Jam
1 egg
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ Cup of milk
1 Cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
4 teaspoon vinegar

Serve with custard, cream or ice cream.

Place the cream, butter, sugar, salt and Apricot Jam in a medium saucepan, stirring continually over a high heat, bring the sauce to the boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for two minutes.
Remove from the heat and keep warm.

Cream the butter and the sugar together until the butter is pale and soft.  Beat in the Apricot Jam, beat in the egg.  Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda into the milk.

Sift the flour and the salt together and add to the batter, alternating with the milk.  Beat in the vinegar.
Spoon the batter into an ovenproof pudding bowl that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.

Pour half of the sauce over the batter.

Bake the Malva Pudding in an oven preheated to 350º F,  for 40 minutes or until risen and golden.
Remove from the oven and pour over the remaining sauce a little at a time until all the sauce is absorbed by the hot pudding.

Serve hot with custard, cream or ice cream.

Navajo Tacos

Navajo Tacos, Indian Fry Bread, Indian Tacos, pretty much the same thing.  If you have never heard of Navajo Tacos, let me tell you a little about them.

Navajo Tacos were invented in 1864, using flour, sugar, salt and lard.  The Navajo tribe had been given these ingredients by the US Government, when they were forced to leave their land and make the 300 mile "Long Walk" to New Mexico.  Often times, the food ingredients supplied by the government were rancid, and so the tacos came about using just the simplest of ingredients available to the tribe.

The way that the frybread is served, depends on the region and even the tribe, but it's beginning take place during the 4 years of captivity the Navajo suffered.  So to the, Frybread is not just a meal, it is a memory of a painful and sad time for their ancestors.

The closest thing to a frybread that I'm familiar with, are the Vetkoek which we had back in South Africa, which is either served with some delicious savory curried ground beef, or filled jam.

  Vetkoek with Curried Mince

I actually just realized that I haven't yet shared the Vetkoek recipe with you all, so that needs to happen soon.

Anyway, back to the Navajo Tacos.  My family loves tacos and usually we stick with the crunchy tortilla type, but once in a while, I prefer to take some time and make some Navajo Tacos, they truly do hit the spot.

Navajo Tacos

2 cups of flour
2 and half teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
Oil for frying

1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, diced
Cumin, salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili flakes (to taste)
Can of Bush's Southwestern Style Pinto Beans

Shredded cheese
Diced tomatoes
Shredded lettuce
Sour Cream

In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt and warm water.  Mix well until a soft dough is achieved.  You can knead for a few minutes, or pop it in your stand mixer and beat for about 4 minutes or so.  Cover with a kitchen towel and let sit for 20 minutes.

In a skillet, fry the ground beef until browned, add the onion and cook until translucent, add the spices to taste and cook for a few minutes more.  Add in the Southwestern Style Pinto Beans, don't drain.  Mix well and let simmer for 5 minutes.  Set aside.

In a small skillet, add oil for frying.  You don't need a lot, I usually add about 2 inches of oil, I just don't like drowning my food in excessive amounts of oil.  Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, roll into a ball and then flatten to a disc that is about 6 inches wide.

Fry each one for a minute or so until golden brown, then flip over and cook the other side until golden brown as well.  Drain on paper towels.

To serve, spoon meat mixture onto each disc, add the toppings to your liking. 

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Beef S.O.S

My husband loves everything that I make, but one of his favorite meals is also one of the easiest and cheapest meals to have.  If it were up to him, he would eat S.O.S every single day and be just fine with that.

If you are military or have military background or even been around military people in general, then you will no doubt have heard about the good ol' S.O.S.  Technically it's called S*** on a Shingle, and I don't think I need to tell you what the S word stands for LOL

It's something that military folk of all branches are quite familiar with.  The dish seems to go all the way back to World War I and an Army field kitchen, although the recipe itself first appears in a Manual of Army Cooks from 1910.  So, as you can see it has definitely been around for a very long time. 

This is definitely one of those meals that not only go far, but are perfect for when you need to cut back on your food budget.  There seems to be a love/hate relationship for people with this meal, but we think it is absolutely fantastic, and filling.

There are SO many ways to make this recipe, so I'm giving you my way of making it, I'm sure you can find a ton of different versions online.

Beef S.O.S

1 lb ground beef
2 cups milk

3 tbsp all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Garlic (optional but I like to add some in)
Sliced Bread

In a medium sauce pan over medium high heat, brown the ground beef, then season with salt and pepper.  I sometimes add a little garlic too. Drain grease. Sprinkle the flour over the meat and stir to combine, then slowly start pouring in the milk all the while mixing well so as not to allow the flour to become lumpy.

Serve over sliced bread.  (you can toast the bread if you wish, we either toast it or just have it as is)

One Pan Portuguese Roast Chicken

I think everyone knows how to prepare roast chicken, and there are so many variations out there and family recipes passed down from generation to generation.

Much as I love cookbooks and trying out new recipes, some days I prefer to stick to the way I have grown up cooking, the meals that I remember from my childhood.

This is a very simple way to make roast chicken, it may seem a little different to what you're used to making but it's equally delicious.  It is also a one pan meal, and that is always great as it saves on having a pile of dishes to clean up.

I do hope you'll give it a try :)

One Pan Portuguese Roast Chicken

1 pound chicken (I used thighs, but you can use a whole cut up chicken, or legs, or breasts, whatever you prefer)
Minced Garlic
Salt and Pepper
2 large potatoes
Small red onion

Now here's the deal, if I'm not following a specific recipe, I always cook from the heart, which means I eyeballs the ingredients.  It's hard for me to give specific measurements, but I'll try to give you an idea of how much I used.

First thing, wash and clean your chicken well.  Place the chicken in a big ziploc bag, then squirt in some vinegar, add about 1/2 cup of mayo and 1/4 cup mustard, some minced garlic cloves (I used about 4 that I mashed in my mortar and pestle), salt and pepper to taste and some paprika.

Close the ziploc tightly and give it all a good mix, then pop in the fridge for a few hours.  It's even better overnight, but usually I'll do it either in the morning, or around noon to cook for dinner.

When you're ready to cook.  Dump the whole contents of the chicken into a casserole dish, or a baking dish covered with foil.

Add a layer of sliced onion on top, and then top with thick sliced potatoes.  Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for about an hour or until chicken and potatoes are completely cooked through.

When done, you can serve right away, or if you wish, you can remove the foil and place back in the oven to broil a bit.

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajita Crunchwrap

Oh my goodness!!!

Just oh my goody, gosh, this is delicious.  I've shared a recipe before for an actual Crunchwrap like the ones from Taco Bell, and then I also shared one for a Sheet Pan Crunchwrap which is phenomenal as well.

Today, I'm bringing you a Sheet Pan Chicken Fajita Crunchwrap just is just as delicious.

What I love the most about these Sheet Pan meals, is that they are perfect for get togethers, family dinners and so on.  I love meals that I can stretch for a big crowd and this is one of those, for sure.

Give it a try.

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajita Crunchwrap
Source: Tasty

4 chicken breasts, sliced
3 onions, sliced
5 peppers, sliced
2 tbsp fajita seasoning
3 tbsp olive oil
9 large flour tortillas
1 tsp melted butter
2 cups cheddar, grated
2 cups spicy tortilla chips

For the dip:

1 cup sour cream
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp fajita seasoning
1/2 cup pickled jalapenos
1 tbsp honey
juice 1 lime
salt, to taste

Pop the chicken, peppers and onions on a large roasting tray with the 2 tbsp fajita seasoning and oil. Roast for 25 minutes at 200°C, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, mix everything together for your dip and set aside.

Brush your butter across the base of a sheet pan. Lay 7 tortillas down on the bottom of the pan.  Put in half your cheese, half your chicken, all of your chips, then the rest of the chicken and cheese.

Fold over the tortillas, then lay over a sheet of wax paper, and weigh down with a heavy tray.

Bake for 30 minutes at 180°C.

Panda Express Chow Mein - Cheap Meals


A few months ago I was on the hunt for some cheap, inexpensive, easy meals to make.  Once in a while I like to try and cut my food budget down by making meals that are not only cheap but that the family will surely enjoy.  That is not always as easy as it may seem.

I came across a channel on Youtube that provided just that, she called it Dirt Cheap Budget Meals but they looked SO incredibly yummy, which peaked my interest.

We as a family, love Panda Express and especially their chow mein, so when I saw that she had a recipe for a knock off Panda Express Chow Mein using none other than Ramen Noodles, I KNEW that was definitely going to be on the menu.

The verdict:  We absolutely LOVED it, and is actually on the meal plan for the next two weeks, again.

Panda Express Chow Mein
Source:  Queenn Callier

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons oil
4 packs Ramen Noodles (I used Beef Flavored)
2 packets of Ramen noodles seasoning
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1 tsp Shredded ginger root
1 Tbsp Honey (Can substitute with sugar)
2 tsp Garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups Shredded Cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 cup sliced celery
Optional:  I added in some cooked chicken breast that I chopped into bite size chunks

Cook the ramen noodles with the two packets of seasoning, as you normally would.  Set aside.

In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, ginger, honey, garlic powder and pepper.  Set aside. 

In a skillet, or a wok, add the butter and the cabbage, cook for 15 minutes.  Add in the celery and the carrots and cook for 15 minutes more.

Add in the oil, then the cooked ramen noodles and finally the soy sauce, mix well and let fry for a few minutes.  Serve immediately.

If you're adding in chicken or any other meat, do so when you add the ramen noodles to the skillet.


Chicken Sopa - Church Cookbook

When my husband and I were newlyweds, we traveled to Oklahoma to visit his family.  We had our daughter at the time, she was just about a year old and at my husband and his family's request, we had her baptized in their local family church.

As we arrived at the church, there were a stack of cookbooks, you know the church cookbooks that used to be so common?  My mother in law asked me if I would like one, she knew I loved cooking, and wanted to gift me one because there were recipes from her, her mother and her niece featured in the book.

I was thrilled.

Over the years I've tried many of the recipes and maybe because they're simple homecooked dishes, they tend to be some of the best family meals around.

One of the recipes featured in the cookbook is from my husband's cousin Cindy.  I just made it again a few weeks ago and realized I hadn't shared it on the blog, so here it is.

A simple Mexican flavor inspired casserole that I'm sure your family will enjoy :)

Chicken Sopa

1 pound chicken, cooked and cut into bite size pieces (you can use leftover roast chicken as well)
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles

1 cup chicken broth
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
12 (6 inch) corn tortillas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  Put the chicken into a mixing bowl. Add the chicken soup, mushroom soup, green chiles and broth. Mix well.

In a 9x13 inch baking dish place a layer of corn tortillas to cover the bottom, then a layer of the chicken mixture, then a layer of cheese. Continue to layer, like you would lasagna, until all of the chicken mixture is gone.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and brown. Let cool and serve.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Best Homemade Sandwich Bread

 I've made a lot of bread in my life, but this one by far is my family favorite. I bake 3 loaves every week because my husband refuses to have store bought bread for his lunches, he loves mine THAT much LOL

White Bread
Source: Brown Eyed Baker

  • 4½ teaspoons instant yeast (two 0.25-ounce packets)
  • ¾ cup + 2⅔ cups warm water, divided
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 (43 grams) tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
  • 9 (1.3 kg) to 10 (1.4 kg) cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, for brushing


  1. In the bowl of a mixer, stir to dissolve the yeast in ¾ cup of the warm water, and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the remaining 2⅔ cups water, sugar, salt, room temperature butter, and 5 cups of the flour and stir to combine.
  2. Using a dough hook, mix on low speed and gradually add the remaining flour until the dough is soft and tacky, but not sticky (you may not need to use all of the flour). Continue to knead until a soft ball of dough forms and clears the sides of the bowl, about 7 to 10 minutes.
  3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and turn it over so it is completely coated. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a draft-free place to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured surface. Gently press it all over to remove any air pockets. Divide the dough in two and, working with one piece at a time, gently pat it into a 9×12-inch rectangle. Roll up the rectangle, starting on the short end, into a very tight cylinder. Pinch to seal the seams and the ends, tuck the ends of the roll until the bread, and place into greased 9-inch loaf pans. Cover the loaves loosely and place in a draft-free area until doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes.
  5. Position an oven rack on the lowest setting and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  6. Brush the loaves with some of the melted butter. Bake the loaves for 30 to 35 minutes, rotating halfway through, until golden brown (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 195 degrees F).
  7. Remove from the oven and immediately brush with more of the melted butter. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the pans and cool completely before slicing. The bread can be stored in an airtight bread bag or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 4 days. It can also be frozen for up to 1 month.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Pressure Cooker Beans with Bacon


If you're looking for a quick and simple, but fantastic bean recipe, you have found it.  It is incredibly easy to put together and with the help of the pressure cooker, you will have fantastic flavorful beans, in no time at all.


Pressure Cooker Beans with Bacon

1 pound of pinto beans
1 small onion, finely diced
6 slices of bacon, diced
Crushed garlic, about a tablespoon
Salt and pepper to taste
Cheiro Verde 
Olive oil
Bay leaf

Wash your beans well, then soak in water overnight.  Throw out any bad beans, little stones, or any beans that float to the top.

Before cooking the beans the next day, give them a good wash until the water runs clear.

Add a little drizzle of olive oil to the pressure cooker, and set to Saute.  Stir in the garlic, salt and pepper and bacon and cook until crispy.  Click the cancel on the pressure cooker.

Next goes in the beans and the water.  You need to add water to at least 2 finger widths above the beans.  Some people add 3 cups of water for ever cup of beans, but I usually just do as I said above. 

Set the pressure cooker to Manual High and cook for 35 minutes.  When the time is up, do a quick release and check the beans.  If they are not yet cooked, add more water and return to the pressure for another 10 or so minutes.

I don't usually have a problem with the beans not cooking, especially the pinto beans.  You will notice at this point that the beans may seem kind of runny, at this point I turn the pressure cooker back to the Saute function, mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with a little bit of water, and add that back into the beans, stir and let it cook until thickened.

You can recheck the seasoning at this point, add more salt if needed.