Chimichanga Casserole

This recipe is easy, delicious, and budget friendly!! What more can you ask for? On those nights when you don’t have time to make a big dinner this is a recipe for you. This is also a great make a head freezer meal. My friend Michelle also uses it for OAMC (One a Month Cooking) It’s also very adaptable because you could add chicken, beef, beans… you name it. I love the versatility.
  • 1 package (2 1/2 pounds) frozen chimichangas (I use El Monterey)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) cream of mushroom soup
  • 1-1/2 cups of shredded cheese
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Coat a 13x9x2 baking dish with non-stick spray
  3. Add chimichangas cutting to fit in a tight single layer (I bake them frozen but you can defrost them to cut and place the remainder of the bag in the pan)
  4. In a medium size bowl, mix together milk, soup, and 1 cup of the cheese
  5. Pour mixture evenly over the chicken and the burritos
  6. Top with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 mins (More or less depending on if you defrost them prior to baking)

Not Your Everyday Grilled Cheese Sandwich!

I love grilled cheese. To me it is a catchall meal. When I am running short on time, it makes a great lunch, or dinner. When I am running low on food in the house, and I don’t want to run to the store I can always enjoy a great grilled cheese…assuming we have cheese and bread. It also makes a great side to a nice bowl of soup. I like to try new variations of your classic grilled cheese sandwiches. Here are a few of my favorites.

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Mom’s Fried Rice Recipe

To my surprise this was a pretty good recipe. I didn’t have high hopes for it. I was in a hurry, and I tried to hurry it along. My mistake was I used Basmati rice verses using regular white or brown rice. The Basmati got sticky, and turned into glue. That was a mistake on my part, not the recipes. This recipe went well with my Korean Barbeque Fried Chicken recipe.


  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 8 bacon strips, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 8 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups leftover cooked rice
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce


In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Pour egg into the pan. As egg sets, lift edges, letting uncooked portion flow underneath. When egg is completely cooked, remove to a plate. Set aside.

In the same skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels; drain, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings. Saute mushrooms and onions in the drippings. Stir in the rice, bean sprouts, peas, soy sauce and bacon. Chop egg into small pieces; stir into the pan and heat through. Yield: 4 servings. Here is the original recipe

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Korean Barbeque Fried Chicken

This recipe started as Korean Fried Chicken, and headed a completely new direction because I purchased the Korean barbeque sauce, not gojujang, which is a Korean chili paste. I blame it on my blond-ness. Any-who, I decided to follow the recipe exactly as written, but use the barbeque sauce in place of the gojujang. I was too far into the recipe to turn back. Heck, what did I have to lose? The recipe turned out amazing.

Everyone loved it!! The flavor is incredible! One thing that I loved was the doubling frying the chicken. Even hours after dinner the chicken that was left over was just as crispy. The original recipe came from my favorite blog The Bitten Word. You can view it here! Thanks Zach and Clay
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 5 cloves garlic 1-1⁄2″ piece peeled ginger
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. Korean barbeque sauce
  • 1-1⁄2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Asian sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 2⁄3 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 lb. chicken tenders
  1. Pour oil into a 6-qt. pot to a depth of 2″. Heat over medium-high heat until a thermometer reads 350˚.
  2. Chop garlic and ginger in a food processor.
  3. Add soy, Korean barbeque sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and honey; purée. Put sauce into a bowl.
  4. Whisk flour, cornstarch, and 2⁄3 cup water in another bowl. Add chicken; toss.
  5. Working in 3 batches, fry chicken until golden, 6–8 minutes.
  6. Drain on paper towels.
  7. Return oil to 350˚.
  8. Fry chicken until crisp, 6–8 minutes more.
  9. Drain again.
  10. Toss chicken in sauce.

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Vanilla Fruit Salad

I love fruit salad! We ending up trying this recipe for a side dish on the fourth of July. This is one of my favorite recipes now. The flavor of the pudding adds a nice sweetness that you might not be getting from all the fruit. It also seems to help meld the fruit all together. I am just going to list what I put in my salad, but in truth the important part is the pudding. You choose the fruit that makes you happy! Not only can you play with your choices of fruit, but you can also change your flavor of pudding. One of my friends told me she once used lemon.*If you are adding bananas don’t add them until right before you serve. Also remember bananas, and pineapple tend to take over fruit salads. You are going to want to taste all the fruit so don’t add as much of these fruits. You don’t want them to dominate your salad. *


  • 1 can of very cherry fruit cocktail (Drained reserve the juice)
  • 1/3 pineapple chunks (drained)
  • Red grapes
  • Green grapes
  • Cherry’s (pitted and halfed)
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Plum
  • 1 (3 1/4 ounce) box dry vanilla instant pudding mix


  1. Prepare your fruit for your fruit salad, slicing, and peeling, and so on. Place in a large bowl
  2. In a small bowl, add the dry vanilla pudding. While whisking, gradually add just enough reserved fruit juice to make the pudding thick. You will probably only be adding 1/4 cup or less of reserved juice. 
  3. Pour the pudding juice over your prepared fruit, and gently mix together
  4. Refrigerate until chilled.

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Cracker Barrel Hash Brown Casserole

I am not the biggest fan of Cracker Barrel. Why you might ask? I just don’t think that it’s anything special. For the most part everything they make I can make myself, as well, if not better. Therefore, it’s just not a place I frequent anymore. When you live in a city the size I do, with the amount of restaurants we have, Cracker Barrel isn’t high on the list. We have one restaurant for every six people. My exception to my Cracker Barrel rule is their hash brown casserole recipe. To me it’s the very best. This is a copycat recipe, but to me it’s just as good! I would recommend cooking it until it’s golden brown. Not only does it add flavor, but it also gives it a little crispiness.



  • 1 (2 lb) bag frozen southern style hash brown potatoes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • Season-All salt
  • 1/2 cup melted margarine
  • 1 1/2-2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 (10 1/2 ounce) can cream of chicken soup


  1. Spray a 13″ X 9″ X 2″ baking pan with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine soup, cheese, butter, onion, season salt, and pepper. (I mixed everything in my Kitchen-Aid Mixer… this made it super simple)
  3. Gently fold the potatoes into the mixture and pour into prepared pan.
  4. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes, until heated through and top is browned.

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Purple Hull Pea Festival Winner

I love purple hull peas. To say they are a childhood memory would not be giving it enough credit. Shelling purple hull peas will always be a memory of time spent with my Dad. He was the king huller. A country Dad will always instill his instincts in his big city country girl. Good times and an amazing recipe.

I found this recipe on the purple hull festival website (Who knew?) This recipe was the first place winner by Christine Snider at the 2007 Purple Hull Pea Festival & World Championship. If anyone out there in cyber space knows Christine please pass on my information to her. I would love to tell her myself how much I love her recipe.


  • 5-6 cups shelled purple hull peas
  • 6 oz. centercut smokey bacon (use a good brand)
  • Salt to taste


  1. Cut bacon into inch size pieces and lightly brown in a dutch oven or deep saucepan. Do not drain bacon grease.
  2. Add washed peas and enough water to cover plus one inch. Add 2 teaspoons salt.
  3. Boil over medium heat until tender (about 45 minutes).
  4. Taste and add more salt if needed.

Serve with hot, buttered cornbread.

Above recipe from the Emerson, Arkansas
PurpleHull Pea Festival & World Championship
Rotary Tiller Race Web site:

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