Friday, May 27, 2011

Quick and Easy Mexican Rice

1 T butter
1 C long grain rice
1 1/2 T Knorr tomato bullion with chicken flavor
1/2 t. cumin
1 t. sugar
1 tbsp dried minced onions or chopped onion
2 cups water

In saucepan, sauté onion and rice in butter, until browned.

 Add seasonings and water. Bring to a boil. 

Turn down heat to low, cover pan, and simmer for 20 minutes. Take off burner. Let stand for 5 minutes and fluff with fork.


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Friday, May 20, 2011

Strawberry Cream Cake

This is one of my favorite cakes and it is so quick and easy! There is nothing like a cold piece of cake on a hot day. Yum!  The recipe starts off with a cake mix, so it has very few ingredients and it is quick.

The first step is to make your cake according to the directions on the box.

Pour the yummy batter into your baking dish.  For those of you that like to lick the bowl, this is some good batter!

The cake bakes in about 30 minutes and it is a pretty golden brown.  While you are waiting for the cake to cook, poke holes throughout the cake with the end of a wooden spoon.  Make sure you poke lots of holes, because that is where all of the yummy strawberry goodness will end up.

When your strawberries are thawed, just throw them in the food processor or blender and puree until smooth, juice and all.

Now it is time to pour the strawberry goodness over the cake.  After a few hours, the strawberries will get really soaked up by the cake.

This is what your cake will look like after you have topped it with the luscious whipped cream topping.

And the best part, ENJOY!


1 Duncan Hines Strawberry Supreme Cake Mix
2 10 oz. packages frozen strawberries (pureed in food processor)


1 3.4 oz. pkg. Instant Vanilla Pudding
1 C. milk
1 small container of Cool Whip

Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan.  Prepare cake following the package directions.  Bake as directed.  Cool.

Poke holes all over top of cake with the end of a wooden spoon.  Spread pureed strawberries over the top and let them soak in for a few minutes.

Combine pudding mix with milk.  Add cool whip.  Top cake.

Refrigerate for several hours before serving.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Quick Summer Meal - Supper

By the time summer rolls around, I am tired of cooking and it is just too hot in this Texas weather to be in the kitchen. I have a few "go to" meals that are quick and easy. These meals are some of our favorites and would be perfect for company.

Anything that has to do with rotisserie chicken fits into this category. I love to have half of my ingredients cooked and ready to go before I ever start my cooking.

One of my favorite meals is, King Ranch Casserole, Mexican Salad and Mexican Rice.

I developed the recipe for my King Ranch Casserole after tasting many others through the years that just didn't have enough flavor. I don't think I ever follow a recipe without tweaking it.

Here is the recipe for the King Ranch Casserole:

1 bag Nacho Cheese Doritos
1 rotisserie chicken deboned and shredded (about 2 cups of chicken)
1 10 oz. can enchilada sauce
1 4 oz can diced green chilies
1 small chopped onion
1 10 oz can cream of chicken soup
1 10 oz can cream of mushroom soup
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
2 cups cheese (cheddar or Mexican blend)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9 x 13 pan.

Layer Doritos in bottom of pan. Mix chicken, soups, chilies, evaporated milk and enchilada sauce in a bowl. Pour over Doritos. Bake for 30 minutes. Top with cheese and a few crushed Doritos and bake for another 5 minutes, until cheese is melted. Delicious & EASY!!

I love a good Mexican salad. Here, I used a bagged spring mix, grated cheese, ranch style beans, rinsed and drained, and garnished the salad with Frito's. The best part is the dressing. I drizzled Kraft Classic Catalina over the salad and tossed. I could eat this as a meal by itself. You can add tomatoes, olives, onions, green onions, avocado, or anything else you like. Sometimes, I will season some ground beef with Taco Seasoning and add this and it is a complete meal. Now that is quick and easy.
Below is my Mexican Rice. It is very quick and easy with just a few ingredients. A couple of those ingredients are unusual for a rice recipe.

And we can't forget dessert! That is almost the best part. Some of my favorite summer desserts are refrigerated cakes. This cake is a delicious Strawberry Cream cake. I could just about eat the whole thing myself. It is so light and cold and perfect for summer.

Tomorrow, I will be posting the recipes for the Mexican Rice and the Strawberry Cream Cake. Yum!

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Quick Chicken for Supper

I love to buy rotisserie chicken at the grocery store for a quick meal. It is already cooked, very hot and ready to eat. If you want to make chicken enchiladas, chicken spaghetti or chicken salad, it is a quick and easy alternative to buying fresh chicken and going through the cooking process. I think it is cheaper than buying fresh chicken. At Sam's, you get two huge chickens for around $10.

The not so fun part is that you have to skin it and bone it. I have gotten this down to a science, so it doesn't take me too long. I skin and bone it close to the sink with some warm soapy water and I can have it done in about 10 minutes. That is definitely quicker than cooking it myself. I buy all different flavors and they all work great. A chicken usually yields about 3 cups of chopped chicken.

It never fails that I decide to have the chicken on the day the trash men come to our house. That means the bones have to stay in the trash for about 3 days before the trash men come back. Have you ever smelled 3 day old chicken bones????? If you have, you will never forget it. It is one of the most rank, disgusting smells!

I have two solutions. One it to take the bones and put them in a Ziploc bag and put them in the freezer until trash day. The problem with that is by trash day, I have forgotten about the bones and my freezer is stuffed with frozen chicken bones. My other (and most used option) is to take my neatly wrapped bones to my local Big Lots dumpster at the back of a strip center near me.

Every time I do this, I am wondering if someone is watching me and wondering if I am stuffing a dead body in there.

Mission accomplished! Now I am ready to cook supper!!!

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Can't Wait

Shanty 2 Chic

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Don't Look In My Closets!

Saturday evening, we went to church, and then out to dinner at San Miguel's on Crockett Street in Ft. Worth. If you ever read my blog, you know that is my new favorite spot in town. Jordan and Janelle were home when we left the house.

Jordan left next, through the front door. You have to pull and click our front door to make sure it is closed good. (That will be the key phrase to this story). Janelle left for a few minutes to go to the drive thru at McDonald's before she went out for the night. I wish I had a pictures of her. She does this quite often. Ratty shirt, 10 year old shorts and her hair freshly washed in a turban wrap towel.

When Janelle left, she set the alarm. That is one thing we got in the habit of doing several years ago. Even if I leave just to go to the post office, I set the alarm.

When Janelle came home (dressed beautifully), there was a police officer at our house. Then another, and then another. She walked around the house to talk to them, and they yelled, "Get back ma'am." Since I have been to the Citizen's Police Academy and have a police scanner, I know the drill.

When your monitored alarm goes off, the alarm company calls your house. If you do not answer and give them the correct password, they send the police to your house. When the police department dispatches the officers, they tell them the alarm is going off and give them the latest history at the residence, if there is one. Red Flag: We had a robbery at our house in December.

The police will walk around your house and make sure all the doors and windows are secure. When they checked, our front door was wide open. This has happened before when it is windy. If you don't shut it good, and someone goes out the back door, the suction that it creates in the house will open the door. Of course, the police have no way of knowing any of this.

The police have to assume, for your protection and for their protection, that someone has broken into your house through the front door and are possibly in the house.

Janelle got to wait outside in her "beautiful" attire and wait for the police to search the house. Since someone could be hiding anywhere, they had to search each room, and all of the places such as under the beds, closets, etc.

The downstairs of my house is usually immaculate, but my closets look like a bomb went off. After I got home and realized someone had been searching in my closets, I just about died. I am so thankful that Janelle was at the house and not me. I would have been humiliated! I hope I don't ever see the officer around town again. He has seen something that no one is ever allowed to see. I guess I could clean then out, but . . . no thanks, too much trouble!

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The ALMOST Big Surprise

We have been telling Jordan and James about Bailey's Prime in Ft. Worth for about a year. It is a great place for special occasions. It looks a little like Las Vegas inside.

They went on Monday night and loved it. They were telling us how great the food was and how their waiter was so good and so much fun. Little did I know at the time, they were making arrangements for a surprise for my birthday with their waiter and the manager.

Pops made reservations for us at Bailey's for Saturday night. Jordan and James gave the manager their credit card number to pay for our dinner. Bailey's was going to have a special menu with our names on it and some other little surprises. J & J were so excited about the night they could hardly contain themselves all week.

Saturday night, we went to church and to Bailey's. As we were checking in with our reservation, we ran into some old friends that we had not seen in several years. They invited us to sit at their table. The manager was thrilled because it gave them an extra table on a busy night. The manager added us to the Neir's reservation and cancelled ours on their computer system. Unfortunately, when they cancelled our reservation, they cancelled all of Jordan and James' surprises.

While we were at dinner, Jordan sent me a text about an upcoming movie and I answered her back. I know she was expecting an excited text back from me about my wonderful surprise dinner, and it didn't happen.

When we came home, Jordan and James greeted us and asked how our dinner was. We told them we ran into our friends and had dinner with them, and she said, "Is that all?" After that, she burst into tears. I was scared to death because I thought she was getting ready to tell us some horrible news. She shared with us all of the big surprises she had planned that never happened. She was so excited about all she had planned and she was so upset and disappointed!

I was really excited because she had planned so many neat things for me, and I was also GREATLY excited because she didn't have some horrible devastating news for me. I do understand how disappointed she was, but it was all so special to me even if it didn't happen.

Thank you Jordan for being so sweet and thoughtful to me and working so hard on the birthday surprise . . . that wasn't. I am smiling as I write this!

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Monday, May 9, 2011

Lollypalooza Begins!

My family has been calling my Mother's Day/Birthday weekend Lollypalooza. We started out the weekend with a family dinner on Friday night at one of my favorite places, Maggiano's. Everyone made it except Justin and Shannon. Justin was out of town helping his father-in-law work cattle (he's loves it!) and Shannon had out of town company coming in for a baby brunch.

When we go to Maggiano's, we always order the family style dinner.

We had:

Mozzarella Marinara
Mushroom Ravioli
Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Chopped Salad with Bacon, Avocado and Blue Cheese
Chicken and Spinach Manicotti
Chicken Parmesan
Baked Ziti with Sausage
Apple Crostada with Ice Cream

It was every bit as good as it sounds! It is served family style, all you can eat, and they just keep bringing it out. They also pack up any leftovers you have. I came home with a bag of food that I think was more food than we ate. Our server was great and she even packed up some extra cheese cake with strawberry sauce to go. I highly recommend Maggiano's, especially for a big crowd.

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Birthdays Are The BEST

I have a birthday coming up next week. It usually falls right next to Mother's Day, or sometimes I share a birthday on Mother's Day. My family is ALWAYS so good to me! Pops has been working on my gifts and reservations for the past few weeks and he is beside himself with what he has done. He is dying to give it all to me now!

I am always registering for restaurants frequent diner clubs. Most of the time, they will give you a gift on your birthday. This past week, I have gotten several. I can't wait to use them all and they are great gifts!!!

So far, I have gotten:

Free Dessert at Chef Point Cafe (aka the Gas Station)
Free Brunch at Blue Mesa (best brunch around)
Free Appetizer or Dessert from Piranha Killer Sushi
Free Dessert from Pappadeaux
Free Dessert from Pappasito's
Free Beef Medallions and Shrimp Scampi from Brio
Free Steak Dinner from The Keg

There are a couple that I know of that I haven't gotten yet. Wow! I will eat well during the month of May!!! I encourage you to sign up at your favorite restaurants. I usually get free offers on my anniversary.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Big Announcement From Landrie and Karsyn!

Landrie and Karsyn are so excited about their new cousin, Easton, who should be here in about 4 weeks or less. They can't wait to hold him and help take care of him.

The girls have a bunch of baby cousins. When all of the pregnant girls in our family deliver their babies, we will have 8 babies under 2. That is a bunch of babies and a bunch to share.

But . . . Landrie and Karsyn will get to have more baby time when their new baby brother or sister comes in December! We are all so excited and can't wait to welcome another baby in our family!!!

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Monday, May 2, 2011

Great Weekend - Great New Restaurant

We had a great Easter Weekend. Our weekend always start on Thursday. Thursday night we went to Catfish Sam's in Arlington. We had a great meal and we had a groupon, so our bill for the night was $3.04. Not bad at all.

We decided to go to church on Friday night. We went to our new church, It was a great service with a great message. Before we went to LifeChurch, we went to our favorite area in Ft. Worth, Crockett St. We tried a new restaurant, Hacienda San Miguel. It was great. They have a really neat patio. We chose to sit inside since it was about 90 degrees, but definitely want to it again soon.

The food was great. We ordered guacamole, which was some of the best we have ever tried, and we both had the Enchiladas Con Crema Poblano. We decided not to have dessert since it was so early. We headed to church and then after church, we went to Dairy Queen so that Pop's could get the ice cream sandwich he had been craving for a week.

Saturday night, we went to the movies before dinner. We went to see Water For Elephants. It was one of the best movies I have seen in a long time! After the movie, we went to Campania Pizza. Our favorite pizza is the Quatro Forgammi. No tomato sauce, just lots of cheese.

To finish the weekend, we had a family dinner and Easter Egg Hunt with about 35 people. Always a blast!

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