Saturday, January 15, 2022

Update: Tamale Griddle Cakes

If you love tamales but don't have the time and patience to make actual tamales, these griddle cakes are a pretty yummy subsitute! These griddle cakes taste a lot like tamales and can be topped with whatever you like! I had some leftover crock pot pulled pork and it was great on top! I also added some shredded lettuce, sour cream and Sandy's Famous Salsa (cowboy caviar). My girls also loved them with cheese on top! I love this kind of recipe because you can let your kids help build their own and that always seems to motivate them to eat more!

These are a copycat of a favorite appetizer at The Cheesecake Factory. I've made several changes and tweaked it over the years but I found the orignal recipe on Prudence Pennywise so if you like this recipe you might want to check out her blog too. Here's a link to her griddle cake recipe:


Tamale Griddle Cakes (makes 12 silver dollar sized patties) 
1 can creamed corn
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 Tbls. sugar 
pinch of salt 
1 heaping 1/2 cup scoop of masa harina 
1/4 cup flour 
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth 

In a medium bowl, combine creamed corn, butter, sugar, salt, masa and flour.  Slowly add 1/2 cup of the broth while mixing constantly. Add more broth as needed to completely moisten batter. The batter will remain somewhat thick however. Shape into 12 small patties. Cook on a non-stick griddle like pancakes, allowing tamale cakes to brown on both sides. I also used the spatula to flatten them a bit which helped them cook. Top with your favorite toppings! Pork, chicken, cheese, sour cream, salsa, avacado, etc!

Bacon, Jalapeno and Raspberry Jam Ultimate Grilled Cheese


I love spicy and sweet together and this recipe delivers that! Plus it's swirled with melty cheese so how can you go wrong! If you're looking to up your grilled cheese game, give this one a try!

Bacon, Jalapeno, and Raspberry Jam Ultimate Grilled Cheese

Yield: 3 sandwiches


6 pieces sourdough bread (or bread of your choice)

1-2 T. Butter

6 slices cooked bacon

1 large jalapeno (de-seeded and chopped)

4 oz. cream cheese (softened)

3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

3 T. raspberry jam (or more if desired)


Cook bacon until crispy. De-seed and chop jalapeno. 

Melt a small pat of butter in a pan and saute jalapeno until slightly softened. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, cheddar and jalapeno until mixed.  

Butter each piece of bread on one side.  On a large griddle place three pieces of bread, buttered side down.  Top each with 1/3 of the cheese mixture and two slices of cooked bacon. Spread the remaining pieces of bread with 1 T. of Jam each and place them on top of the bacon, jam side down. 

Cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.  Flip sandwich and cook on the other side for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy the gooiest meltiest cheesy goodness sandwich of your life!

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Sugar Chips


This salsa is such a fun treat! It has a great summery taste but uses ingredients that you can find even in the winter. It's super easy to make and a great starter recipe for kids to make too. I listed my favorite ingredients below but honestly there are lots of different fruits you can add to the mix.  Others we use include fresh pineapple, peaches, or apples.  They are great with cinnamon sugar chips! Make your own or buy them.  I found some delicous ones at a local mexican restaurant or you can buy the Stacy's brand cinnamon pita.

Fruit Salsa


1 lb. strawberries (chopped)

1 mango (peeeled and chopped)

2-3 kiwis (peeled and diced)

1 small can mandarin oranges


Wash and chop all fruit.  Combine in a medium sized bowl.  Serve with cinnamon/sugar chips (recipe below!

Cinnamon Sugar Chips


10 fajita sized flour tortillas

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 T. sugar

1/4 cup butter


Mix cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl.  Spread each tortilla with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.  Cut each tortilla into 6 triangles. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray and arrange chips in a single layer. Bake at 375 for 12 minutes or until crispy.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Veggie Scramble

        Okay, my kids think this looks like garbage but it is so tasty! This is a fast and super delicious way to pack your day with even more veggies!  It's also got a little potato to fill you up and plenty of protein to keep you moving.  The recipe below makes two generous portions.  I've listed the veggies I use but it's super adaptable so feel free to throw in whatever you've got or leave out whatever you don't like! If you like a little heat try adding green chile or sriracha.  Really, it's hard to go wrong with this!

Veggie Scramble (2 servings)
1-2 T. Butter
1 red potato (diced into 1/2 in. pieces)
1 cup chopped broccoli
1/2 cup diced bell pepper
1/2 cup diced onion
1 cup baby bella mushrooms
1 cup baby spinach
4 eggs
1 roma tomato (diced)
6 slices deli ham (chopped)
1/4 cup shredded cheddar

Melt 1 T. butter in a large frying pan.  Saute potatoes and broccoli over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add bell pepper, onion, mushrooms and spinach. Add a little more butter to the pan if needed. Continue to saute until all veggies (especially the potatoes) are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Scramble eggs in a small bowl and pour over vegetables. Stir occasionally to make sure eggs cook on all sides.  When eggs are cooked stir in tomato, ham and cheese.  Serve warm! Yum!

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Chicken Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes and Pine nuts


Remember when sun dried tomatoes were all the rage? They are still one of my favorites and this pasta is chock full of them. Plus my kids like them too so this pasta is a double win! I originally got this recipe from an old church cookbook of my mom's but have tweaked it a bit over the years.  I love that the sauce all cooks in one pan and you simply mix it in with some cooked pasta.  

In related news: I like to drizzle it with some balsamic glaze (totally optional) and I've recently found the Nonna Pia brand at Costco and have fallen in love.  I used to make my own but that's a lot of cooking for a weeknight. Haha!  If you love balsamic give this a try.  It's super yummy over a plate of fresh mozzarella, roma tomato and chopped basil.

Anyway, without further ado...the recipe!

Chicken Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes and Pine Nuts


1 lb. pasta- cooked according to package directions (The picture shows gemelli but penne or farfalle work well also)
Olive oil
1 lb. chicken tenderloins (diced into 1 in. pieces)
1/2 sweet onion (diced)
3 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes (chopped) (I use Trader's Joes Julienne cut)
1/4 cup pinenuts
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes (do not drain!)
1/4 cup fresh basil (chopped)
1 tsp. italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, plus more to top (You can use shredded or shaved)
Balsamic glaze to top (optional)


Bring water to boil in a large pot and cook pasta according to package directions. When cooked drain pasta and return to pan.  Toss with a little olive oil to keep from sticking.

While pasta cooks, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet and saute chicken pieces for about 5 minutes or until browned all over.  Add diced onion and continue cooking until chicken is cooked through and onion is soft (adding more olive oil as needed to keep things from sticking).  Add garlic, sundried tomatoes and pine nuts to pan and cook until fragrant about 1 minute.  

Add chicken broth, canned diced tomatoes (liquid and all), and chopped basil.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer until reduced by about half (10-15 minutes).  

Add heavy cream  and 1/2 cup shredded or shaved parmesan. Continue cooking sauce for another 5 minutes or until somewhat creamy.  Pour over cooked pasta, stirring well to combine.

To serve: top with extra cheese and balsamic glaze if desired.

Monday, November 2, 2020

Chicken Tetrazzini


I originally got this recipe from my good friend Jenny (you can view her version of the recipe here)!  Like most recipes, it's evolved for me over the years in how I make it so I thought I'd finally write it down for posterity, lol. This recipe is great for kids and adults alike.  It's a super comforting and cozy meal for fall and winter.  It's been awhile since I've made it and I kind of wish I was making it tonight!  

Chicken Tetrazinni


1 lb. package whole grain spaghetti noodles

olive oil

1 med. sweet onion (chopped)

3 cloves minced garlic

2 T. butter

1/3 cup flour 

2 (12 oz.) cans evaporated milk

3 cups chicken broth

1 tsp. dry mustard

dash of nutmeg

1 tsp. parsley

salt and pepper (to taste)

1 can mushroom pieces

3 cups diced chicken (I use a rotisserie)

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese


Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook noodles. Once they are cooked, drain and place noodles in a 9x13 baking dish.

Meanwhile, heat a large drizzle of oil in another large pot.  Add onion and cook until softened. Add garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute.  Stir in butter until melted and add flour.  Slowly stir in milk and chicken broth, stirring constantly. Add seasonings and simmer until sauce is thickened (about 10 min.) Stir in mushrooms and chicken.

Pour sauce over the noodles in the baking dish.  Top with shredded cheddar.  Bake casserole at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  Enjoy!

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Apricot Chicken


This recipe is amazingly easy and kid friendly. It's also a great freezer meal!  I like to bake it in a 9x13in. dish but you can also cook it in a crockpot or instant pot if you don't mind it being more like shredded chicken. 

A quick side note: One of the ingredients is Russian dressing. It's important to note that there are two different kinds of russian is a lot like french/catalina and the other is creamy like thousand island.  In this recipe you'll want to use the one that looks like french/catalina.  Wishbone has a good one but I can't always find it so I use french or catalina as a substitute.  

If you're looking for a fast new chicken recipe that your kids will all eat give this a try!

Apricot Chicken


5-6 chicken breasts (cut into strips)

1 cup apricot jam

8 oz. russian, french, or catalina dressing (make sure you read my side note above about the russian dressing)

1 packet dry onion soup mix (I prefer lipton)

Jasmine rice for serving


Cut chicken breasts into strips and place in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. In a small bowl mix jam, salad dressing and onion soup together.  Pour over chicken (moving chicken around slightly to make sure it is fully coated in the dressing mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.  Serve over rice!