Black Bean Quesadillas

You Will Need:

  • 8 corn tortillas (taco size) 
  • 1 can black beans (15 oz. drained and rinsed)
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese or colby jack Mexican mixed cheese
  • 1/4 cup picante sauce 
  • 1 tsp. oil plus a little more for rubbing on the corn tortillas
  • homemade guacamole dip (for this you will need 1 ripe avocado mashed and creamed and sprinkle of garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste) 
  • tortilla chips to eat with the guacamole dip

Heat rinsed drained beans in a small pot with some water, bring to a boil, then drain water from  beans. In a bowl, combine beans and picante sauce. Rub oil onto each side of the corn tortillas, heat 1 tsp. oil in a non-stick skillet on medium heat, add one corn tortilla to the skillet cook 20 seconds or so on each side, sprinkle tortilla with cheese, then add bean mixture to the center of it, top with shredded cheese and top with another corn tortilla (like a sandwich), mash with a spatula. Use a spatula to carefully flip the corn tortilla, to brown the other side of it. Cook 1-2 minutes until golden brown on both sides.

Makes 4 Quesadillas

Eat with homemade guacamole dip with tortilla chips, chips and salsa or both and some Mexican rice! You can even add some of the homemade guacamole to the top of your quesadilla if you'd like to.



Easy Mexican Rice

You Will Need:

  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 1/8 cup oil
  • 4 oz. of tomato sauce (1/2 of a small can)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped onion (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • dash of cumin
  • dash of black pepper
  • dash of garlic powder

Heat oil, rice and optional onion in a non-stick skillet on med-high heat, add rice, stir often and cook until it becomes a golden brown color, then add other ingredients to skillet and stir, cover and reduce heat, and simmer for 30-35 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Fluff rice with a fork.
Serves 4-6



Marinated Chicken Strips

This Chicken recipe has a wonderful and unique flavor, slightly sweet, with a little kick from the spicy brown mustard.

You Will Need:

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 6 Tablespoons oil
  • black pepper
  • 1 lb. to 1 1/4 lb. of chicken strips

For Marinade, mix together the first eight ingredients in a bowl, wash chicken strips, and beat them with meat mallet tenderizer and then sprinkle with black pepper, place chicken pieces in a gallon size freezer bag and pour the marinade mixture over the chicken.  Refrigerate 3-8 hours. When finished marinating the chicken, remove from bag, place chicken in a preheated lightly greased non-stick skillet, cook on medium high heat for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until done (no longer pink).



Chopped Steak with Onion & Mushroom Gravy

You will need:

  • ground sirloin meat (enough for your size family) 
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 small can mushrooms or mushrooms with stems (drained)
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • salt, black pepper, and garlic powder


In a nonstick skillet, add oil, onion and mushrooms, cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes or so until onion is tender and transparent looking. Remove from skillet, place in small bowl and set aside. 

Make patties from the ground sirloin meat, sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder on both sides. Add to skillet and cook on medium heat about 15 minutes (flip them every 4 minutes or so)  until they are no longer pink inside and liquid runs clear. When they are done, remove them from the skillet place on plate and set aside. 

Add cornstarch to 1/4 cup of cold water, stir well and set aside. (this is called cornstarch water)

On medium heat, to the skillet add beef broth, stir to remove beef bits from bottom of pan, stir in the cornstarch water, continue stirring, turn up the heat to medium-high heat, bring to a boil, keep stirring, when thickened (after about 5 minutes or so), add onions and mushrooms back to the skillet, salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low until ready to serve. Serve gravy over patties, or you can add the patties back to the skillet until ready to eat. 

This is great with homemade mashed potatoes!


Note: This is a thin gravy, for a thicker consistency, you can add a little more cornstarch mixed with little bit of water (a little bit at the time) and boil, and repeat, until desired thickness. 



Mexican Chicken Rice Bowls

You will need:

  • 1 tsp. canola oil
  • 1/2 medium size onion chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon jalapeno pepper (I used some pickled jalapeno from a jar and diced it)
  • 3  boneless skinless chicken strips (cooked and shredded) Note: I slow boiled the chicken strips in a pot with some chicken broth, salt and pepper and cooked them for about 20 minutes until they were tender, then I shredded the meat, you can always use left over chicken if you have some on hand. 
  • 1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1/2 cup frozen kernal corn
  • 1 (32 oz.) carton chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • jasmine rice (or your favorite rice)
  • crushed tortilla chips


Heat oil in large pot, med-high, add onion and jalapeno and cook until tender a couple of minutes,
stir in chicken, beans, tomatoes, corn, broth, tomato paste, cumin and chili powder. Heat to a boil. 
Reduce heat to low and cook 30 minutes or until ready to serve. When ready to serve add lime juice and season with salt to taste and if desired, more cumin or chili powder to taste. 
Add rice to the bottom of your  bowl, top with soup mixture using a slotted spoon, then add the liquid to your bowl with a large spoon until you get the desired consistency, top with crushed tortilla chips. 

Other garnishes you can use are: 
cheddar cheese
chopped cilantro
sour cream 



Shredded Teriyaki Chicken with Jasmine Rice

You will need:

  • 1 lb. package of chicken strips
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 3 tsp. of minced garlic
  • sprinkle of salt, pepper, garlic powder
  • cooked jasmine rice (about 4-6 servings) or your preference of rice

Grease slow cooker with oil, wash chicken strips and place in slow cooker, sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  In medium bowl mix together broth, teriyaki sauce, brown sugar and garlic. Pour over chicken. Cook on low 6 hours, or high for 4 to 4 1/2 hours. When chicken is done, shred it in the slow cooker with two forks, stir shredded chicken, mixing it well with the sauce that's in the slow cooker. You can set the slow cooker on the serve setting now, until ready to eat. 
Spoon shredded chicken over cooked Jasmine rice. 

I like to serve this with a side of stir fry vegetables. 



Oven Roasted Potatoes

You will need:

  • 4 medium potatoes (peeled and cut into cubes, I used russet potatoes) 
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. dried chives
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil (or other oil of your choice) 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, grease a 13" x 9" sheet pan, mix all of the above ingredients together in a large bowl, spread it evenly on the pan, turn the potatoes with a spatula every 15 minutes or so, cook until golden brown and tender about 40-45 minutes or so. For softer potatoes cook less time, for crisper ones cook a little longer. After they are cooked sprinkle with more salt, pepper and chives or other favorite seasonings to taste, if desired. Serves 4.



Italian Cream Cheese Cake...

For the Cake you will need:

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 oz. of flaked coconut 
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Beat softened butter and shortening in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, (I usually mash them together with the back of a spoon before I beat with the mixer), gradually add sugar, beat well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each, In another bowl combine flour and baking soda, then add to creamed mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix after each addition. Stir in vanilla, coconut and pecans. Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9 inch round cake pans. Bake 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out clean when inserted in the cake. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove and let cool completely on wire racks. 

For the Cream Cheese Frosting you will need: 
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine softened  (to soften, I just leave it out on the counter about an hour or two until it's softened enough to mix, same with the cream cheese below) 
  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg. of cream cheese softened
  • 1 (3 oz.) pkg. of cream cheese softened
  •  6 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Cream butter and cream cheese together with the back of a spoon until it's mixed together, stir until   creamy and mixed well, gradually add sugar a little at the time, beat with mixer until smooth, add vanilla extract and beat until blended.  If desired, you can add a touch of milk if  want the frosting less thick or you can add more powdered sugar if you want it thicker. Add either for desired consistency. 
Frost your cake. 



Red Potatoes with White Sauce and Chives...

You will need:

  • New (Red) Potatoes Unpeeled, I used 6 medium size potatoes to feed 4 to 5 people (use the amount of potatoes you think you'd need for the number of people you will be serving and adjust the white sauce measurements accordingly) 
  • 5 Heaping Tbsp. of  Flour
  • Stick of Butter
  • 1/2 Cup of Milk (plus a little more)
  • Chives (dried or fresh) 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Pepper (to taste) and More Salt (to taste)
Wash and scrub potatoes, cut them into 1 inch pieces or so, add 1 tsp.of salt to a medium sized pot, add potatoes, cover potatoes with water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender about 12-15 minutes. Drain and set aside. 

In the same pot you used for cooking potatoes, melt a stick of butter over med-high heat, add 5 heaping Tbsp. of flour and whisk, add 1/2 cup of milk, keep stirring, until smooth, as it thickens you can add more milk or a little bit of water as necessary until it is the desired consistency and thickness. Add salt and pepper to taste, and desired amount of chives (I just sprinkle it in until it looks about like the amount in the above photo)

Return potatoes to the pot of sauce and stir. Add more salt pepper and chives if needed. 



Po-Man Oven S'mores.....

You will need:

  • Saltine Crackers
  • Peanut Butter
  • Marshmallows
Spread peanut butter on the crackers, top with marshmallow, place in a preheated oven broil until golden brown on tops....don't turn your back on these, they will get brown fast!

Let cool slightly

Have you ever made these before? I didn't know what to call them, but Po-Man S'mores sounded good, so I went with it! I grew up eating these, mama fixed them all the time.  I was surprised to find out that many people I know have never had these! They are delicious!