Monday, February 27, 2012

Charro Beans 2.0. New and Improved!

A couple of weeks ago, I whipped up some charro beans. They were good, but not quite what I was trying to achieve. I went back to the drawing board and came up with an even better recipe. These are spicy and delicious. I hope you enjoy. Originally, I used pinto beans, but for the new recipe, I switched to small red beans. I also used ham hock instead of bacon.

Charro Beans 2.0


1 lb. small red beans

1 ham hock

½ yellow onion, chopped

½ green bell pepper, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 can Ro-tel

½ cup cilantro, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

6-8 cups water

Diced tomato, shredded cheese and cilantro for garnish


Sort and soak beans in water overnight. Drain beans. Sauté onions and bell pepper in olive oil until soft. Add ham hock, beans, spices, Ro-tel, cilantro and 6 cups of water. Cook over medium to medium-low heat for 3 hours. Add more water as needed as the beans cook. You want them to be covered. Garnish with tomato, cheese and cilantro to serve.

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Valentine's Day Treat

I was looking on the world wide web for a couple of Valentine's Day recipe ideas. I found two that I want to make. The first is more involved. The second, a bit easier, but just as cute. I have put the links above the pictures from the websites. They look delicious, and I hope you check out these websites as they are phenomenal.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Short on time? How about a quick, easy meal?

Bubble Up Pizza


1 can (16oz) golden layer buttermilk biscuits (Pillsbury Grands! Jr)

1 large jar spaghetti sauce (I used Ragu Parmesan and Romano)

3 cups mozzarella cheese

Pizza toppings (I used pepperoni)

Non-stick cooking spray


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut biscuits into quarters and place in large bowl. Toss biscuits with pizza sauce. Add pizza toppings and half of the cheese. Toss until well blended. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Pour biscuit mixture into pan and top with remaining cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until biscuits are done.

Adapted from

Monday, February 6, 2012

Thyme for Chicken

This dinner was so easy and so delicious. You will love it!



1-2 tbsp olive oil

5-6 cloves of garlic, minced

1/3 cup of chicken broth

Zest from 1 lemon

Juice from 1 lemon

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Two sprigs of fresh thyme

1 lemon cut into 4 wedges


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; add the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, making sure not to burn the garlic. Add the chicken broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, and thyme leaves to the pan. Pour the mixture into the baking dish. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Place the chicken in the baking dish along with the lemon wedges and the two sprigs of thyme.

Place into the oven and bake, basting occasionally, for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear. Remove from the oven and let the meat rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Drizzle the pan sauce on top of the slices of chicken and serve. Enjoy!

Adapted recipe by For the Love of

Original recipe by the Barefoot Contessa

Radiatori Pasta and Broccoli

1 head broccoli
1 package radiatori pasta
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/2 lemon, zest and juice
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese


Prepare pasta according to directions, drain. Microwave broccoli in a little water until tender. In small pan, cook remaining ingredients, except cheese. Mix seasoned butter broth with cooked pasta and broccoli. Sprinkle on cheese.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

My Baby--Abigail Josephine Van Buren

Don't let the preciousness fool you. She will eat your face! With her personality, it is hard to resist her. She will not be ignored. She demands your full attention, loves to play fetch, and can eat her weight in dog food. Even though she is a tiny thing, Abby is one fierce beast.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I'd Rather Be Here

It has just been one of those days where I wish I was anywhere else than where I am. Disney World sounds pretty good, I mean, it is the happiest place on earth afterall.