Thursday, June 10, 2021

Cheesy Beefy Nachos


Of all the foods my husband loves, I would have to say that nachos are top on the list.  This man could eat nachos every single day.

I have a few recipes here on the blog, like


These are so easy to make.  I actually think nachos is one of those things you can't go wrong with, you have your basic meat and beans, then the rest is totally up to you.  Chicken, pork, ground beef, whatever your family prefers.
Garlic, onion, tomato, peppers?   Up to you.
That's the versatility of nachos, your taste, your preference.
These are really easy to make, and even better that it's all in one skillet and no need to dirty other dishes.  
It's a quick meal, comes together really easily and it's one of those that I like making when I'm rushing to get dinner on the table. 


Cheesy Beefy Nachos
2 lbs ground beef 
1 can beans (kidney, black or whichever you prefer.  I used pinto beans), drained
2 packets taco seasoning
1 cup of water
8 oz block cheese thinly sliced (I used colby jack but use whichever you prefer)

In a large skillet, cook the ground beef until browned. Drain the grease.  Add the beans, taco seasoning, and water.  Stir until well combined, then simmer for a few minutes until the sauce thickens.
Remove from stove, top with the sliced cheese and any other toppings you want.  I added a few jalapeno slices for those of us that like the heat, but left the other side without because my daughter does not like spicy food.  Put the lid on and let sit for a few minutes until the cheese melts.

Spoon over tortilla chips!

Copycat Ono's Hawaiian Macaroni Salad


When we were stationed at Luke AFB, Arizona, we were lucky to live in an area that provide many restaurant options.  We never ran out of a good place to go try out, and we never got sick of eating the same thing.

By far, one of our favorite spots to go was Ono Hawaiian Barbecue. 

Y'all, if you've never been to one, and have one nearby, go.  Go, go, go!

I can't even tell you how good it is.  Best chicken, which by the way, I already have a recipe here on the blog that is pretty close to the original.  Check it out, Ono's Hawaiian Grilled Chicken.

Their meat was amazing, but their macaroni salad was one of our favorites too.  Soooooo good.

Thankfully, it is pretty easy to recreate and it's often one of my kids most requested side dishes when we are grilling.

Ono's Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
1 pound macaroni 
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 
2 carrots shredded 
1/4 cup onion shredded
2 1/2 cups Mayonnaise Best Foods or Hellman's mayonnaise 
1/4 cup milk 
2 teaspoon sugar 
kosher salt and pepper to taste 
Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain, pour into a large bowl . 
While macaroni is still hot, sprinkle on vinegar and add carrot and onion. Toss together until well combined.   Add in the mayo, milk and sugar until evenly coated.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, best overnight.  

Saturday, June 05, 2021

Copycat McDonald's Big Mac

Raise your hand if you love a good Big Mac from McDonald's?  
So funny story, before I share the recipe, my kids are not huge hamburger lovers, both prefer chicken sandwiches.  No matter which fast food place we go to, they usually order a chicken sandwich, crispy of course.  My son is a bit more adventurous, and like his mama, loves spicy food, so he will get the spicy chicken sandwich sometimes.
But, normally?  Yeah just chicken, no burgers.  They're nothing like me in that sense, because I love a good ol' burger.  Though I'm not a huge Mcdonald's fan, aside from the fries, because I will swim across an ocean for those, I do really enjoy a Big Mac.
If you've been on this food blog long enough, then you surely know that I love copycat recipes.  If I can find a recipe for a restaurant favorite, then I'm definitely going to try it.  

I wasn't quite sure if the Big Mac would be good, but let me tell you something, it was phenomenal and actually kicked up to a whole new level, simply because I grilled the burger patties.  
Oh my goodness!!!
But enough talking, let me just give you the recipe and set you loose, to make yourself these babies.  Your family is going to love you, and when you realize just how easy they are, you will have some Big Macs more often than you can get to McDonald's.  
Copycat McDonald's Big Mac
 Source: 4 Sons 'R' Us

For Big Mac sauce: 
1/2 cup mayonnaise 
2 tbsp French dressing 
1/2 tbsp sweet relish 
2 tsp dill pickle relish 
 1 tsp sugar 
1 tsp dried minced onion 
1 tsp white vinegar 
1 tsp ketchup 
1/8 tsp salt 
For the burgers: 
2 thin hamburger patties 
1 & 1/2 sesame seed buns 
1 slice yellow American cheese 
1 tbsp special sauce 
1 tsp finely minced white onion 
1/4 cup shredded lettuce 
2 dill pickle slices 
 salt and pepper, to taste 
To Make The Special Sauce 
Mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for an hour, at least, before serving. 
To Make The Big Macs 
Lightly toast two bottom buns. Season the hamburger patties with salt and pepper, to taste. 
Grill the burger patties, until done.  On the first of the two bottom buns, add ½ tablespoon of the Special Sauce, ½ teaspoon of the onion, ⅛ cup of shredded lettuce, cheese, and one hamburger patty. 
Place the other bottom bun on top, and top it with the same items mentioned above, but no cheese. Top with the remaining bun top.


Friday, June 04, 2021

Chicken and Dumplings with Gnocchi

Chicken and Dumplings with Gnocchi 

My daughter Jasmine, loves chicken and dumplings. She is the one that will go to Cracker Barrel and almost, always, orders the Chicken and Dumplings. 
I've even asked her before if she's not sick of the same thing, but nope, she loves it, orders it and enjoys it every.single.time.
I enjoy it as well, but it's not something I make very often.  I would say probably more during the cold weather, but then I don't fix specific meals only during specific seasons.  If I'm in the mood for soup and it's 100 degrees outside, you better believe I'll be making a pot.

I've made a few different variations of chicken and dumplings, and you can find those recipes right here on the blog.

I guess I've added more recipe variations, than I even was aware.  But anyway, there you have it, a few to pick from.
When I came across this new recipe, using gnocchi as the dumplings, I knew I had to try it, and I'm glad I did because it was absolutely divine.
Give it a try and let me know what you think.
Chicken and Dumplings with Gnocchi
Chicken and Dumplings with Gnocchi 
 Source:  4 Sons 'R' Us

1 16 oz pkg gnocchi 
1 16 oz pkg frozen peas & carrots 
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/3 cup flour 
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
1 1/2 tbsp butter salt & pepper to taste 
1 1/2 cups celery thinly sliced 
1 white onion peeled & sliced 
1 1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves 
1/4 tsp dried oregano 
2 cup gnocchi water (from cooking) + 1 1/2 tsp chicken bouillon base 
1/2 tsp garlic powder 
seasoned salt to taste 
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.  Add the gnocchi to the pot and cook them for 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the gnocchi to a waiting strainer and run them under cold water, stirring as needed, to stop the cooking process and prevent sticking. Set aside. 
Add the frozen vegetables to the pot of hot water, and let them cook just until soft. Remove two cups of the water from the pot and set aside. 
Add the chicken to a large mixing bowl, and sprinkle the flour over.  Toss until evenly coated.  
Add the olive oil to a large skillet set over medium high heat. Once hot shake the chicken so that any excess flour falls back into the bowl, and then add the chicken to the skillet. Season the chicken with salt & pepper, stirring occasionally, and cook until all the pieces are nicely browned. 
Using a slotted spoon, transfer all of the chicken to a waiting plate; set aside. 
Melt the butter in the skillet, and then add in the vegetables along with the thyme and oregano. Give everything a good stir to combine, and then cook (stirring occasionally) about 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables are tender yet still crisp. 
Sprinkle the reserved flour evenly out over the veggie mixture, and stir to combine. 
Pour in the broth, using a sturdy spoon scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze while the stew mixture comes together & thickens. Add the chicken back to the skillet, stirring to combine. 
Let the mixture simmer for 2-3 minutes. Stir the gnocchi and the peas & carrots into the stew mixture. Add the garlic powder and the seasoned salt, stirring to combine. 
Let the mixture simmer for 2-3 more minutes before ladling into bowls and serving.

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

Fluffy Lemon Lime Pie

Fluffy Lemon Lime Pie
It's that time of the year.
The temperatures are rising, summer days are right around the corner, and barbecues, pool time and family get togethers are on the horizon.

I'm always looking for easy recipes that take but a few ingredients, but taste like I spent hours working on them.  
I've always been more of a pie girl, than a cake girl.  I'll eat cake, but it's not something I am in love with or need to have in my life.
Now pie is a whole different story.  Give me pie every day, and I won't say no.

Fluffy Lemon Lime Pie

Some of my favorites, aside from the good ol' Pecan Pie, are the citrus flavored pies.  Lemon Meringue, Key Lime Pie.  YUM!!!
I've been making this pie for a long time.  I was, and kind of still am, a Taste of Home cookbook and magazine collector.  I have so many.  I could never part with them.  
There was even a time where my husband's grandmother passed away, and my mother in law gave me all her Taste of Home magazines.  A big ol' stack that I have to this day.  I still get so many good ideas from them. 

This pie is originally made with Lime jello, but I use whatever I have on hand, and I love the combination of lemon and lime, so you can't really go wrong there.  

It is one of those recipes that once you learn it, you won't forget it.  It's that easy and you probably already have all the ingredients on hand.  If not, just keep a few in your pantry for when the craving hits, or when last minute visitor arrives for the weekend. 

Fluffy Lemon Lime Pie

Fluffy Lemon Lime Pie
1 Graham Cracker Pie Crust (9 inches)
1/4 cup of boiling water
1 package (0.3 oz) lemon jello (you can use lime too)
2 cartons (6 oz) key lime yogurt (I used one key lime and one plain)
1 carton (8 oz) cool whip 

In a bowl, add boiling water to the jello, and stir for about 2 minutes until completely dissolved.  Add the yogurt and mix well, then fold in the whipped topping, until everything is combined.

Pour into the graham cracker crust and refrigerate, covered for 2 hours, or overnight.