Chicken Fiesta Rice: Freeze Dried Ingredients

Chicken fiesta Final CopyDid you forget to lay that meat our for dinner aaaagain? No worries. I have a recipe that will save you and taste like you spent  quite a while making it, but in reality, it only takes 10-15 minutes to make and you do not even have to use a skillet. Interested yet? 🙂

I am going to show you how to make a Chicken Fiesta Rice bowl  that can be stored on your shelf for months without going bad if it is stored properly. (Please read all directions on how to store at bottom of article.) To prepare it, all you have to do is add 1 1/2 cups of boiling water to it and you’re done. Yup,that’s it!

I have put together a short video to guide you in preparation and a list of the ingredients are listed below it. This meal is created using NuHarvest Freeze Dried Foods and I have to admit, once it is re-hydrated you really can’t tell that is what it is. It tastes so fresh and good. My husband and kids couldn’t tell and my husband even let some of the guys at work try it and it was a hit.


Makes 2 full cups of Chicken Fiesta Rice. You can double up the ingredients or even triple them if you have a large family. I can feed four people (2 adults, 2 teenage girls) when I double it up.

Freeze Dried Ingredients:


  • 1 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/8 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/8 to 1/4  tsp salt, optional
  • 2 tsp Chicken Bouillon or Granules
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Freeze Dried Cilantro OR 1/8 tsp regular dried Cilantro

Optional Ingredients:

To Prepare:

  • Mix everything together in a bowl that will hold at least 2 cups of water.
  • Boil 1 1/2 cups of water
  • Pour water into bowl and stir so that all ingredients get wet and spices are blended well
  • Cover and let sit for 10 minutes

It is that easy. The only thing to wash are the bowls and spoons. 🙂

Storing Meal in Mason Jars:

If you are going to store a few of these already prepared meals in jars on the shelf it is imperative that you use an Oxygen absorber to seal the jar or a vacuum sealer (Jar Sealer Attachment) so the meat does not go rancid and make you sick. Eat within 3 months.

If you are making some up in baggies then you will need to store them in the refrigerator and use within 3 weeks. If you store them in the pantry they should be used with in 10 days.


Kickin Jalapeño Game Day Dip


Recipe Created By: Cari Schofield 2015©

With the Superbowl upon us, we are all searching for delicious foods and dips to serve our friends at Super Bowl parties.   Many of us also have healthy resolutions this year and it can be hard to find alternatives that don’t use fatty sour creams or things loaded with carbs. So I decided to try using Chobani’s Plain Greek Yogurt as a base for this recipe. Stay with me here. I promise that no one will be able to tell it is made with yogurt.

Keeping with the spirit of my blog this year, I decided to get creative and come up with something that has a little ‘kick’ to it! (Pun intended) This dip can be served with crackers, chips, vegetables or used as a sandwich spread. We even used it the other night on our tacos and burritos and it was fabulous!!


  • 1 1/2 cup Chobani Plain Yogurt
  • 3/4 cup light Mayo
  • 5 tablespoons of the prepared dried spice mix, (see below)
  • 1/2 cup pickled jalapeños, drained (To tone it down a little try using 1/4 cup.)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 MINI sweet red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro tops, no stems

dry mixDry spice mix Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup dry buttermilk, often found next to the powdered milk at Wal-Mart.
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried dill weed
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried chives
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt


  1. Start by mixing together all of the ingredients listed above for the dry spice mix in a bowl, set aside.                                            dry mix 2
  2. Wash, pat dry and chop your cilantro. Remember to only use the leaves, not the stems for this recipe.
  3. Finely chop your mini sweet red bell pepper.
  4. Add the Chobani Yogurt, light mayo, jalapeños, your sweet mini red bell pepper, lime juice, 5 tablespoons of the dried spice mix and  chopped cilantro in your blender.
  5. Pulse at high-speed until blended. You may have to scrape some of it down so that it mixes well.
  6. Pour into bowl and serve immediately or refrigerate until you’re ready to use it.


We serve this amazingly easy to prepare dip with roasted garlic and tomato crackers and summer sausage. There are so many possibilities with this dip. Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below.

Keepin It Spicy,

Jalapeño Gal

(Note: Store your leftover dry mix in the refrigerator for up to 3 months so you can use it again or just double up the recipe and make a huge bowl)






Amish Broccoli Salad

P1090036-001I love broccoli Salad!! It is one of my favorite things to make at parties or church pot lucks and is always a huge hit. I have my own recipe I use of course, but I came across this wonderful delight on Facebook and decided to share it with  you all because it tasted so good. I hope you enjoy and please feel free to leave a comment or tip in the comment section below.


  • 1 lb chopped broccoli
  • 1 lb chopped cauliflower (chopped into very small chunks)
  • 1/lb bacon, fried and crumbled  (about 7 slices) This can be optional if you don;t like meat.
  • 2 cups grated Smoked Gouda or Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar OR to make it diabetic friendly you can use Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 1/cup sugar
    (this is optional…but the sweet taste is popular in this)
  • 1/tsp salt, OR to taste


  1. In large salad bowl, combine broccoli, cauliflower, bacon and 11/cups Smoked Gouda or Cheddar cheese.
  2. In medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar or liquid sweetener and salt.
  3. Stir the creamy mixture into the broccoli salad.
  4. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.
  5. Cover the salad bowl with plastic wrap and chill before serving.


  • Leave out the cauliflower and use only broccoli.
  • Add some chopped or sliced red onions.
  • Replace the cauliflower with diced cooked chicken.
  • Maybe add in some chopped, hard boiled eggs.

It really is that simple….no cooking!!

Yield:  12 servings

  • 1 serving
  • 302.9 calories
  • 25.7 g protein
  • 25.7 g fat
  • 1.6 g fiber

4.1 g net carbs 

Source: Low Carb News

Baked Potato With Pulled Beef/Pork

shanes-menu-img-shack-potato-rightThis will be one of those foods that is considered heaven in your mouth, so come with an empty belly and be ready to take a nap. 🙂 The ingredients are very basic and versatile. We like heat in our house so often times my recipes call for Jalapeño Peppers, but of course those are always optional.


  • 4-6 Large Baked Potatoes
  • Nacho Style Cheese Sauce, your choice
  • Jalapeno Nacho Slices, Optional
  • 1-2 pounds of cooked pulled pork or shredded beef
  • BBQ sauce of your choice
  • Butter
  • McCormick Roasted Garlic and Herb, or your choice
  • Any other topping your heart desires. Onions, mushrooms, etc…


  1. Bake your potatoes in the oven or the microwave until soft. For the microwave, simply wash and pierce the skin in a few places to let the steam escape. I usually allow for 8-10 minutes for 1-2 potatoes depending on size. If a knife inserts and exits like its cutting butter then its done. 🙂
  2. You can make your pulled pork or shredded beef from scratch or you can buy it already made at Sam’s or Wal*Mart in the frozen section and simply heat it up and top with warmed BBQ sauce. (TGIF pulled pork is the best in my opinion, but I really prefer shredded beef.)
  3. Once everything is done cooking then layer the potato in this order.

That’s it!! Dinner is served and everyone is happy, happy happy. I won’t lie, its messy, but its worth it. If you have any suggestions please feel free to add them to the comment section.

Keepin It Spicy,

Jalapeño Gal

Recipe Inspired by Shane’s Rib Shack

Broccoli Salad

broccoli-salad-2Broccoli Salad is such a refreshing dish all year around but we especially love it for cook outs and church pot luck dinners. I never bring any back home with me so I keep a cup or two at home. 🙂 Below I have given you three options. A recipe for 5, 10, or 15 people. All recipes require the same preparations. If you need to stretch it a little further or want a new twist, you can add some small bits of cauliflower as well. Just make another batch of sauce and slowly add it until it taste right for you and your family.

I serve cherry tomatoes on the side for those who love them in their salads.


  1. Fry the bacon in a skillet and cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Dab all grease off bacon strips. Cool and crumble. (I like it slightly crispy, its your choice on how you like it.)
  2. Cut the broccoli into bite-size pieces and cut the onion into thin bite-size bits. Combine with the bacon, raisins, and your favorite nuts and mix well.
  3. To prepare the dressing, mix the mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar together until smooth. Stir into the salad, let chill and serve with in a few hours. I usually make it the morning I am going to serve it.

Ingredients for 15 people

  • 3-1/4 heads fresh broccoli
  • 1-3/4 red onion
  • 13 ounces bacon
  • 1-1/4 cups raisins (optional)
  • 1-1/4 cups sliced almonds (optional). An alternative I use is sun flower seeds.
  • 1-2/3 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/2 – 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, optional
  • 3/4 cup and 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon red OR white wine vinegar

Ingredients for 10 people

  • 2 heads fresh broccoli
  • 1 red onion
  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 3/4 cup raisins, optional
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds, optional. An alternative I use is sun flower seeds.
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, optional
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

For 5 people

  • 1 heads fresh broccoli
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/4 pound bacon
  • 1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon raisins, optional.
  • 1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon sliced almonds, optional. An alternative I use is sun flower seeds.
  • 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, optional
  • 1/4 cup and 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon and 1/4 teaspoon white wine vinegar

I hope you, your family and friends enjoy this amazing dish as much as I do. 🙂

Keepin It Spicy,

Jalapeño Gal


Twice Baked Potato

twice baked potatoIf we eat a baked potato this is the way we do it. I have not had one single person dislike this recipe. 🙂 With twice baked potatoes the toppings and ingredients are endless.  Its all about your flavor and what you like. This recipe is our base recipe. We often add Jalapeños to the adults potatoes. (big surprise right? lol)

Something else I really love about this recipe is that you can get the kids involved. After making the basic blend of ingredients you can let them add cheese, bacos, mushrooms or whatever their little hearts desire on top. 🙂


  • 4-6 Large Baking potatoes
  • 1/2 cup of ranch dressing, more or less to taste.
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream, more or less to taste
  • 1 tablespoon bacon bits
  • 1/4 pound (4oz) of Velveeta cheese. cut into small cubes or slightly melted. (usually the heat from the potatoes melts it nicely.)

(Optional: Half of a small white onion and red onion, 1 teaspoon minced garlic. Both of these need to be finely diced in a small mixer. Almost minced. Saute all of these in butter and then mix into the potato mixture. Other optional ingredients might be McCormick garlic and herb seasoning. We have never had to add salt to these.)


  • Preheat oven to 400°F for baking the potato.
  • Scrub the potato well and blot dry with a paper towel.
  • Rub or brush potatoes with some oil and then rub with sea salt.
  • Prick skin with fork to release the steam.
  • Stand potato up on its end inside a muffin tin and bake for one hour or until a knife or fork inserts easily.
  • Once done baking slice of the top of the potato. You will want to slice off as thin a piece as possible. Think of potato skins. Once i cut the top off i had cheese and bacos and stick the tops bake in the oven just long enough to melt the cheese. It makes a wonderful appetizer for the family while you cook.
  • Scoop out the centers into a bowl with a spoon leaving a small amount on the walls to support the potato. (not real thick, you just dont want to rip through the skin.)
  • Mash the potatoes with a masher or a mixer. Add dressing, sour cream and bacon bits. (optional) You can also add your sauteed onions and garlic at this time. Stir in Velveeta.
  • Beat with mixer until fluffy. You will have to use a spoon to scrape the sides.
  • Add toppings such as shredded cheese, bacon, jalapenos etc…
  • Spoon into shells, bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.

Serve with any meat dish such as meatloaf, slow cooker ribs, pulled pork, steak etc…. and enjoy.




Game Day Slow Cooker BBQ Meatballs

meatballsI enjoy cooking for my family and friends, especially on game day. One of the guys favorites in our house is BBQ meatballs. (Also great for church pot luck dinners.) There is the easy way, using pre-packaged frozen meatballs, or making your own. Either way works. In this article I am going to show you how to make and freeze your own meatballs so you can make a batch, freeze them and use them for other things as well.

(Note: Prepare the actual meatball the day before and freeze.)


  • 3 pounds ground beef, preferably 90/10 but 80/20 works fine to
  • 5 oz can of evaporated milk
  • 1 cup dry oatmeal (rolled or instant)
  • 1 cup cracker crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoon of butter, to saute onions and garlic
  • 1/2 chopped onion, diced fine
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder


  • 2 cups of ketchup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon of liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions.
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce


  1. Saute’ the onions and minced garlic until onions are clear in color.
  2. Combine all meatball ingredients using your hands.
  3. Shape meat into walnut size balls. I like to use a heaping scoop with melon baller so they come out being about the same size. With anything you cook you always want to try to make sure that meat and vegetables are around the same size so they cook at the same rate.
  4. After shaping the meatballs, place them on a waxed- lined cookie sheet and freeze them. When fully frozen, place the meatballs in a Zip-lock Freezer bag and keep stored int he freezer until needed.
  5. When you are ready to use them, put the frozen meatballs in your slow cooker. Cover and cook on high while mixing up the sauce.
  6. Pour the sauce over the meatballs and continue to cook on high for 1 hour.
  7. Remove the lid, gently stir and turn slow cooker down to low.
  8. Cook for 4-8 hours.
  9. You can serve the meatballs directly out of the slow cooker (so they stay warm) or transfer them to a nice dish for serving.

Makes around 20-25 appetizer servings

Tips: You can use the meatball recipe for multiple recipes. Instead of using BBQ sauce you can add a jar of spaghetti sauce to the slow cooker or cream of mushroom soup and serve them with noodles or rice.

Broccoli and Rice Casserole: Mother-In-Law style

Broc rice n cheese casserole 2When my husband and I first got together, one thing he made clear he loved was his mothers broccoli and rice casserole.  Thus I learned how some family recipes get passed down.

Below is the original recipe he loves. I have since added things to make different meals such as chicken, thinly sliced beef, peas, carrots, but you get the idea. The possibilities are endless. 🙂


  • 3/4 stick margarine
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 2 cups of minute rice, cooked
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional
  • 1 3/4 cup hot water
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup (or cream of chicken soup)
  • 1- (8oz) jar of cheese whiz (Yes, they still make it!!)
  • 2- (10 oz pkg) Frozen Chopped Broccoli, cooked and drained, no salt.
  • Regular or sharp cheddar cheese, for topping.


  1. Cook rice according to package directions.
  2. Melt butter and saute onions.
  3. Combine soup, water, salt and cheese whiz in large pot and heat, add rice and broccoli. (You would also add cooked chicken, peas or anything else you would like to add at this time.)
  4. Top with sharp cheddar cheese.
  5. Pour onto a 9×13 baking dish and bake for 45 minutes at 350°.

Canning Peas

canning peas 5As many know, I am into the art of canning food for our food storage pantry. My latest venture is canning peas. I see a lot of articles out there about canning pea soup, but hardly any on canning the actual peas for later use and consumption. Botanically speaking, the pea pod is a fruit since it contains seeds from the ovary of a flower. In our cooking world however, it is a vegetable. Aside from being rich in protein they are also high in vitamins and minerals. Here are some of the nutritional benefits of the pea according to Lifestyle,

Health & Nutrition Benefits of Eating Green Peas
  • Being low in calories, green peas are good for those who are trying to lose weight.
  • Green peas are rich in dietary fiber, making them good for those suffering from constipation.
  • Studies have indicated that green peas might prove beneficial for those suffering from the problem of high cholesterol.
  • The high amount of iron and vitamin C in green peas has been found to help strengthen the immune system.
  • The lutein present in green peas helps reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • Green peas slow down the appearance of glucose in the blood and thus, help keep the energy levels steady.
  • Green peas have been found to aid energy production, nerve function and carbohydrate metabolism.
  • Green peas provide the body with those nutrients that are important for maintaining bone health.
  • The folic acid and vitamin B6 in green peas are good for promoting the cardiovascular health of an individual.
  • Being rich in antioxidants, like vitamin C, green peas can help keep cancer at bay.

Green peas can be prepared in a variety of different ways or recipes. The most common is to boil them and add butter and salt. They are also used in soups, casseroles, rice or mashed.

Ingredients and canning supplies needed;

  • Fresh Peas: You can grow them yourself all winter or you can buy them fresh in the store. ( 30 pounds = 1 bushel and yields 13-20 quarts / 14 pounds = 7 quarts / 9 pounds = 9 quarts )
  • Ball or Kerr Jars; these can be picked up at your local Wal-mart, Lowes etc…
  • Canning Supplies kit
  • Pressure Canner, not to be confused with a water canner. Most vegetables have low acid and always need to be pressure canned verses water canned. Water canning is for high acidic foods. My personal favorite and among canners is the All-American brand pressure canners. While they are a little more expensive they are definitely worth it and have lasted lifetimes, being passed down from grandmothers to daughters for decades. Another brand I see used frequently is Presto. (I have no personal experience with this brand.) If you plan to can your foods on a regular basis then a pressure canner is worth the investment.
  • Large boiling pot
  • Ladles and a large spoon
  • Salt (optional)

Steps to canning your peas;

1.) Preparing your supplies:

  • Wash your jars and lids. You can do this using the sanitize cycle of your dish washer and leaving them in there until ready for use. If you do not have a dishwasher, then place your jars in a pot of water and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. I put the lids and rings in a smaller pot so I can easily lift them out with the magnetic lid lifter. (The lid lifter comes in the canning supply kit listed above, but if you do not have one you can purchase one here.)
  • Get the largest pot you have and fill it with water. Turn on heat to bring to a boil. This water will be used to pour over the peas once you pack them into the jar.
  • Rinse your pressure canner out well and place the rack in it. Add 2-4 inches of water in the bottom unless your manual says otherwise. (Note: You should always follow any instructions that came with your pressure cooker for your own safety, no matter what anyone says.) Place your canner on the stove over low-medium heat to get the water hot and ready for canning.

2.) Preparing your peas:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Hulling your peas: Using your thumb nail, press it between the seam of the pod and it usually opens right up allowing you to push the pea out with your finger.
  • Raw pack your peas into each jar. ‘Raw packing’ is when you do not cook the food before putting it into your jars. When you cook it first, it is referred to as “hot packing.” Pack the peas tight into the jar leaving a 1 inch head space for expansion.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to pints and 1 teaspoon per quart. (optional)
  • Using your ladle, pour your hot, boiled water into the jars, again, leaving a one inch head space. The peas should be completely covered. Take extra care in this process to not burn yourself with the water or the jar. Both will be extremely hot.
  • Wipe the rims clean with a paper towel or dry cloth.
  • Use your magnetic lid lifter to get a lid and put it on each jar one at a time. Then screw the ring down finger tight.
  • Using you jar lifter; place the jars into the pressure canner carefully. If the water has boiled down to less than 3 inches then add more hot water. Once all your jars are in, place the lid on and lock it in place.
  • Do not add the weight gauge at this time. You have to let the valve vent for ten minutes.
  • To vent your canner, turn the heat on high and once you have a steady stream of steam coming out of the valve then set the timer for ten minutes. This process gets rid of all air that is in the cooker.
  • After the full 10 minutes, place the gauge on carefully and let the pressure build to 10 pounds of pressure. (I usually hold the gauge with a dish towel so I don’t get burned by the steam.) Set timer to 40 minutes for quarts or 40 minutes for pints/half pints. (Refer to the manual your canner came with to adjust for altitude, links below.)
  • Once at 10 pounds of pressure, lower your heat until the gauge jiggles about 2-3 times per minute. The gauge must maintain 10 pounds of pressure at all times.
  • After the timer dings, turn off the canner and let the gauge return to zero before attempting to open the lid or removing the valve. (This is very important for your safety and those around you.)
  • Remove jar from the canner with your jar lifter and set on a towel to cool for 24 hours. Do not shake them or bump them. After 24 hours, test to make sure they sealed properly by pressing down on the center of the lid. If it pops up and down then it did not seal and you will need to either re-process or put in the refrigerator to be eaten soon after. (within 3 days)
  • Label your jars with the date you canned the product.

Manuals: Both Manuals contain instructions and recipes.

All-American Pressure Canner Manual

Presto Product Manuals

No matter what you can, always remember to have fun doing it!!!

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Pickled Three Bean Salad


  • 4 1/2 cups slice 1 1/2″ green beans
  • 4 1/2 cups slice 1 1/2″ yellow wax beans
  • 1 lb lima beans or garbanzos (I substituted a combination of kidney & garbanzo weighing a total of 1 lb.)
  • 2 cups sliced celery (3/4 inch)
  • 1 2/3 cups sliced onion (1/4 inch)
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper (omitted)
  • Boiling water
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 T. mustard seeds
  • 1 t. celery seeds
  • 4 t. kosher, pickling or canning salt
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups water


  1. Prepare jars and lids.
  2. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine green and yellow beans, lima beans, celery, onions and red peppers. Add boiling water to cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
  3. Reduce and heat and boil gently for 5 minutes until vegetables are heated through.
  4. Drain hot vegetable immediately and pack into hot jars leaving 1/2″ head space.
  5. Meanwhile, In a separate stainless steel saucepan, combine sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, salt, vinegar, and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and boil gently for 5 minutes until spices have infused the liquid.
  6. Ladle hot pickling liquid into jars to cover vegetables, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Remove air bubbles and fill with liquid to adjust. Wipe rim and add hot lids and rings. Process in water bath for 15 minutes at a full boil.

Source: Canning Homemade

Cracker Barrel Dumplings


  • 2 cups Flour
  • ½ teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 cup butterMilk, A Bit Less Than A Full Cup (you can use regular milk if needed)
  • 2 quarts Chicken Broth
  • 3 cups Cooked Chicken


  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a fork or pastry blender. Stir in the milk, mixing with a fork until the dough forms a ball.
  2. Heavily flour a work surface. You’ll need a rolling-pin and something to cut the dumplings with. I like to use a pizza cutter. I also like to use a small spatula to lift the dumplings off the cutting surface.
  3. Roll the dough out thin with a heavily floured rolling-pin. Dip your cutter in flour and cut the dumplings in squares about 2″x2″. It’s okay for them not to be exact. Just eye-ball it. Some will be bigger, some smaller, some shaped funny.
  4. Use the floured spatula to put them on a heavily floured plate. Just keep flouring between the layers of dumplings.
  5. To cook them, bring the broth to a boil. Drop the dumplings in one at a time, stirring while you add them. The extra flour on them will help thicken the broth. Cook them for about 15-20 minutes or until they not doughy tasting. Add the cooked chicken to the pot and you’re done!

Outback Steak House Bloomin Onion


  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 24 ounces beer
  • 4 Vidalia onions

Seasoned flour

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Creamy Chili sauce

  • 1 pint mayonnaise
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 1/2 cup tomato chili sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Combine mayo, sour cream, chili sauce and cayenne-mix well.

Outback Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons creamed horseradish
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 dash black pepper
  • 1 dash cayenne

Blend everything together well and let sit for 2 hours-refrigerated – or overnight.

Directions For the Batter

  1. Mix cornstarch, flour and seasonings until well blended.
  2. Add beer and mix well.
  3. Cut about 3/4 inch off top of onion and peel.
  4. Cut into onion 12-16 vertical wedges, but do not cut through bottom root end.
  5. Remove about 1 inch of petals from center of onion (You can place the cut onions in cold water for a few hours to help “open” them up — just make sure that you drain them well).
  6. Dip in seasoned flour and gently shake to remove excess.
  7. Separate petals to coat thoroughly with batter.
  8. Gently place in a fryer basket and deep fry at 375-400 degrees for 1 1/2 minutes.
  9. Turn over and fry 1 1/2 minutes more or until golden brown
  10. Drain on paper towels.
  11. Place onion upright in a shallow bowl and remove center core with a circular cutter or apple core cutter.
  12. Serve hot with chili sauce and dipping sauce.

Grilled Vegetables

906336_4008710275383_1297910779_oThere is nothing tastier, in my opinion then perfectly grilled vegetables! Even the kids can’t resist these beautifully colored and tasteful veggie’s! Yes they are that good.


  • 2-3 zuchinni
  • 2-3 yellow squash
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • medium, whole, portabella mushrooms, washed (Optional)
  • red, yellow, and orange Baby Bell Peppers
  • Asparagus tops
  • Newman’s Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing or Newmans Italian Dressing
  • McCormick’s Garlic and Herb seasoning
  • Pinch of fresh herbs such as thyme or oregano
  • 2 freezer size Ziploc bags


Preparing the vegetables:

Wash all vegetables.

Cut off the ends of the zucchini and squash, then cut in half lengthwise and cut them into slices about 1-2 inched thick. It is important to cut them as close to the same size as possible so they cook evenly.

Peel onion, cut off the ends, cut in half.  Then lay the flat side down, cut into four sections and then cut each section in half again. This should give you pieces of onion that are close to the same size.

Cut green bell pepper in half, cut out seeds and stems and cut into pieces the same size as your onion and zucchini.

Put the vegetables in 1-2 freezer Ziploc bags or a container with a tight fitting lid. We always have to much to fit into one bag. Pour in enough dressing to coat all the vegetables. Usually about half a jar of dressing.

Add dried herbs, garlic and herb seasoning and marinate 4-6 hours or overnight.

With the Baby Bell Peppers you can be the judge of how many you use. Cut off the ends, de-seed if there are any. Then cut in half lengthwise and cut equal size pieces. I usually use 4-5 of each color because my husband really likes sweet bell peppers. Plus it adds awesome color to the mix. 😉

As with the Baby Bells, it is up to you how many mushrooms you want to add to the mix. I usually add them whole or cut them in half if they are extremely large.

If you want to add a little heat to the vegetables cut up a jalapeno and add it to the mix!!

Cut off the tops of the asparagus and add to y our mix. The amount is up to you. We will usually add about a cup and then cook the rest in a little butter in the oven for 15 minutes at 300F.

Grilling Your Mix:

Preheat your grill and your grill pan/basket to a medium-high heat. Place a colander in the sink and pour the vegetables in it to allow excess dressing to drain off. This is super important to avoid flare ups on the grill from the oil.

When grill and pan are hot, add the vegetables to the pan making sure to spread them out evenly. Close the grill lid and let them cook. Stir them about every 5-10 minutes to get that grill affect on all the vegetables. Cook about 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables are still slightly crisp and starting to grill on the edges.

Serve hot with salt and pepper on the side.

Keeping it Spicy,

Jalapeño Gal

An Easy Way to Bake Your Home Grown Potatoes

I discovered this method of baking potatoes a few years ago and fell in love!  We love potatoes at our house and on a regular basis I am begged to cook Mom’s Famous Twice Baked Potatoes.

Its really very simple.  Prick the potato with a fork (I use the little corn cob holder thing.) Then spray the potato with cooking oil such as Pam.

On a paper plate, grind up some sea salt and then roll the potato in it.  For areas not covered simple rub some salt on there.  It looks like a lot of salt but its really not. A portion of it will fall off when baking, but the stuff that stays on makes the potato perfect for eating.

Now the fun part! Instead of placing them on a cookie sheet or in a pan, use a muffin tin instead and stand them up!  This helps them to cook faster and you don’t have to worry about turning them so they cook evenly.  So simple yet a genius idea lol.

I usually put them in the oven at 400°F for about an hour.  You can tell they are done if a fork or knife slides in and out with out a problem.

Once your potato is done cooking you can either eat it as a baked potato or make them twice baked.  To do this you will slice off the tops. (Don’t through these away) and scoop out the insides with a spoon. Be careful it will be hot!!

Next, if you so choose, take the tops you sliced off, top with cheese and bacon bits and place them back in the oven for some yummy potato skins. They should only take about 5 minutes for the cheese to melt. You be the judge!! Some people like them crispier, we prefer them soft.

While the potato skins cook, place the insides of the potato in a bowl and add your favorite ingredients such as salt, pepper, minced garlic/onions, ranch dressing, crisp bacon, cheese, *Jalapeño’s* etc… Flavor it according to your taste or find a recipe online that your family likes. Once it is all mixed up and smooth, spoon it back into the potato shell, top with cheese and bacon bits and bake for:

45 minutes at 400 degrees F.
60 minutes at 350 degrees F.
90 minutes at 325 degrees F.

Voila!!! Now you have magnificent, but more importantly, SUPER EASY, delicious baked potatoes for your family to eat.  I hope you have fun and enjoy.  If you have any recipes you love with potatoes please feel free to add them to the comment section below. We love to try new things!!

Keepin it Spicy,
Jalapeño Gal