Saturday, January 21, 2023

How to Make Homemade Mac & Cheese with Smoked Sausage and Broccoli


This Homemade Mac & Cheese with Smoked Sausage and Broccoli is made in three steps, that still surprisingly under an hour. The first step is to boil your 8oz large elbow macaroni for 8 minutes, but in the last 3 minutes add in your 1 cup of broccoli florets. Drain 

Step two, in a large pan on med/high heat add 1 tablespoon olive oil. When hot add in 1/2 chopped onion and 8 oz of sliced smoked sausage. When sausage is browned and onions translucent remove to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up any oil. 

Step three, same pan wiped out make your roux. 2 tablespoons butter melted in pan then whisk in the 2 tablespoons of flour. Add 1 1/2 cup heavy cream (I just used reduced fat organic milk) gradually whisking as you add. Once it starts to thicken add in your 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar and 1 teaspoon of dried mustard (optional). Keep whisking until you reach your desired texture. Taste test, because you might want more cheese, I did and grabbed another hand full. 

Love large elbow macaroni 

Once texture of cheese mixture is met add the macaroni, broccoli, onions and smoked sausage. Fold contents until combined. Salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle some dried parsley on top and serve. This recipe serves 2-4 people….expect extra helpings. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Creamy Grape Salad

 Wow! This creamy grape salad was this weeks family fav! I changed it up a bit form the typical recipe by adding celery and apples since I only had red grapes.


8 oz sour cream
8 oz cream cheese
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup sugar
1 2.5lb bag of red grapes
1 2.5 bag of green grapes
Or 1 apple and 2 stalkes of celery, diced
5 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons chopped pecans

My Directions:

In a medium bowl add the grapes and the diced apples and celery. In another bowl add the sour cream, cream cheese, vanilla extract and sugar. Blend with a hand mixer then add it to the grapes, mix well. Top with the brown sugar and pecans. Chill before serving.

***You could substitute the sour cream with lite whipped cream, eliminate the sugar and get fat free cream cheese; if you are watching your figure.😉

Mi Ensalada de Bistec

Mi Ensalada de Bistec 

This reminds me of a steak salad I had a restaurant in Mexico make for me. They had the salad, I just had them add the steak.

Cook a small sirloin to your favorite temperature. I found a package of 3 small sirloins at ALDIs ranging from around $7 to $9. 

Sauté in the same skillet 4 sliced mushrooms and 5 diced peppers (preferably yellow). 

As far as your greens I’ve used a garden variety with spinach. But tonight I used a head of Boston with some Iceberg.

How much? It’s up to you on how big of a salad you want.

1/3 cup each green and black olives. More if needed 

2 tablespoons walnuts. More if needed 

A balsamic vinegar, honey and Dijon mustard dressing. This was a little hard to find, but luckily at Meijer they have Brianna’s that has all three ingredients. 

My last ingredient is the hardest to find. In Mexico they served the salad with these little triangle puff pastries filled with cheese. 

The closest I came to this is a Greek pasty pie filled with cheese. I also found this at ALDIs. I just cut some pieces up and added them to this salad. Bona petite. 


Saturday, September 10, 2022

Pork Chops in a Creamy Mushroom Sauce

 This mushroom sauce you can use for pork, chicken and chop steak. I used it over pasta (which I got a funny look from my daughter), but it was good. 


I seasoned my pork chops with a mixture of paprika, garlic powder and salt and pepper. Make sure you pat them dry with a paper towel first. Make the mixture in a bowl and generously season on both sides.

I pan fried the chops in butter and oil, before I made the sauce. Set them aside and covered them to keep warm. Using the same skillet, I added a little more oil and cooked the mushrooms to a golden brown. Add in you parsley, Italian seasoning, garlic and salt and pepper, stir to combine. Pour in the heavy cream and chicken broth, stir and let simmer to thicken 3-4 minutes. I wanted mine thicker so I added a mixture of 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water. Add your pork chops back in skillet, cover to reheat pork chops a minute or two. Serve with mashed potatoes, pasta or rice. Enjoy! 


1 teaspoon paprika 

1 teaspoon garlic powder 

Salt and pepper, to taste 

4 1/2” pork chops

2 tablespoons butter 

2 tablespoons olive oil 


1 tablespoon olive oil 

8 oz pkg sliced organic mushrooms, rinse

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning 

1 teaspoon parsley 

1.5 teaspoons minced garlic 

Salt and pepper, to taste 

2 cups heavy cream 

1 cup chicken broth 


1 tablespoon cornstarch 

2 tablespoons water 

Garnish: chop fresh parsley, optional 

Friday, February 18, 2022

Instant Pot Ham and Gnocchi Soup


Do you ever get the burning notice on your Instant Pot? I did on this recipe because of two reasons….1. According to the package instructions for the Instant Pot the unit gets too hot for milk recipes, it will scald. 2. When using the sauté method make sure the bottom of the pot is clear of anything stuck to it. (Sometimes deglazing doesn’t work.), before you switch over to cooking under pressure. If you don’t, you will see the “burning” on the display. 

It states in the instructions that the unit will stop cooking once the burning notice is displayed and then continue when it cools down. Well with this recipe, knowing I did both no no’s, once it cooled down I transferred the soup to my Dutch oven. Next time I will use my Dutch oven for the sauté step in the recipe’s directions and add it to my Instant Pot with all the other ingredients. 

I also believe since I used the Instant Pot to sauté it was already very hot when I switched it over to high pressure. Would it if made any difference if I used low pressure? Thoughts? Serves 4-6 Total Time: under 30 minutes 



4 tablespoons butter 

1 tablespoon oil

1 cup chopped onion (1 medium onion)

2 tablespoons minced garlic 

1/2 cup flour 

1 quart half & half

Instant Pot:

1 cup celery, chopped (3-4 stalks)

1 cup carrots, shredded or chopped (whichever you prefer)

2 cups spinach, coarsely chopped 

28 oz chicken broth or vegetable broth 

1 pkg. gnocchi 

2 cups ham, diced (you can also substitute with chicken)

1/4 teaspoon parsley flakes 

1/2 teaspoon thyme 

Salt and pepper, to taste 


To avoid burning in my Instant Pot I’m going to sauté in a Dutch oven. Melt butter on med/high then add onions, cook until translucent. Add in garlic, cook additional minute. Add in flour and stir until flour is completely combined with onion mixture. Add in the half & half and stir until thickens. 

Add onion mixture to Instant Pot with remaining ingredients. Close steam valve, high pressure for 4 minutes, then use the quick release method when done. Enjoy 

PS. If you think the soup is too thick add more broth. 

Sunday, January 30, 2022

How to Make Lemon Cream Cheese Stuffed Muffins

 I usually don’t bake, but couldn’t resist these Lemon Cream Cheese Stuffed Muffins. These can be great with your cup of coffee in the morning, partner with a salad for lunch or as a replacement for bread or tortillas at dinner. I know that baking can get kinda messy and you have to unearth your entire kitchen to make something….but these are worth it. Makes 12 muffins Total Time: 45 minutes unless you have to do two batches then a little over an hour. Why two batches? I only had a 6 count cupcake/muffin pan, not 12. Yes, I could of cut the recipe in half, but I’m glad I didn’t. 


2 medium size bowls

2 small size bowls

12 count cupcake/muffin pan and 12 paper cupcake liners

Measuring cups and spoons


Hand juicer

Hand mixer



Streusel Crumb Topping:

1 cup flour

1/4 cup brown sugar 

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt (unless you are using salted butter)

6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter 

Lemon Muffins

1.5 cups flour 

1/4 teaspoon salt (again not if you are using salted butter)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder 

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/3 cup softened unsalted butter 

3/4 cup sugar 

2 eggs

2 tablespoons lemon zest (1 used 2 large lemons for zest, using microplane)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1 teaspoon lemon extract 

2/3 cup plain yogurt (I only had honey yogurt which is fine)

2 tablespoons lemon juice (I used just 1 of the lemons to juice with hand juicer)

Cream Cheese Filling

8 oz. Softened cream cheese (I put it in the microwave for 20 seconds)

1/4 cup sugar 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 


 3/4 cup powdered sugar 

Left over lemon juice, add to preferred texture 


Preheat oven to 350. Line pan with liners, set aside. In a small bowl add the crumb topping ingredients and combine until coarse crumbs form, set aside. 

In a large bowl add the dry ingredients then the butter, mix until butter is combined with dry ingredients. Then add the rest of the lemon muffin ingredients, using your hand mixer start out slow until combined, then faster to create a smooth texture with no lumps. 

In another medium bowl softened the cream cheese then mix it with the sugar and vanilla extract using your whisk, again for a smooth texture and no lumps.

To assemble muffins add enough lemon muffin mixture to fill at least 2/3rds of paper liner. Add a dollop of the cream cheese filling in the center of the muffin. Top each muffin with the streusel crumbs. Bake 22-25 minutes in your preheated oven until topping is golden brown and center is set. 

While baking make your glaze in a small bowl. Add in the left over lemon juice until you get the texture you desire.

When muffins are done I took them out of the pan and let them cool for 10 minutes before I drizzled on the glaze. Enjoy! 

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

I made these for a get together, but then also ate the rest for dinner. The combination of a sweet mushroom with a spicy sausage, also stuffed with onions, garlic, spinach and croutons make a great combination and a hit at my small party. Make sure that you soften the mushrooms first and drain them before stuffing. These large white mushrooms browned up nicely in 6 minutes in my Ninja XL Foodi. Total time: 30 minutes  Serving: 3-4 mushrooms each 


3 tablespoons olive oil, divided 

24 large white whole mushrooms (6 to 8 people)

14oz spicy sausage (I used a plant based sausage and no one knew the difference)

1/2 white onion, chopped 

2 cloves of garlic, halved 

Stems from the mushrooms 

Salt and pepper, to taste 

2 stalks of celery, diced 

1/2 bag of frozen spinach, thawed 

2 cups buttered stuffing 

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese 


In a skillet on medium heat add 2 tablespoons olive oil, then add the mushrooms and cook until softened. Remove to a plate cap side up to drain. 

In the same skillet add the remaining oil and the sausage, cook until browned. In your food processor or blender add in the onions, garlic, mushroom stems, celery and salt and pepper, to taste. Pulse once or twice only, then add to the sausage with the spinach, cheese and stuffing. Cook 5 - 10 minutes.

Stuff the mushrooms and place on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven (or ninja foodi) for 6 minutes. Serve.