Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Mexican Lasagna

Thanksgiving is just days away!  I'm super psyched!  I can't wait to spend time with the family and eat lots of food.  Lots.  But there will be leftovers ('cause I always make too much).  One of my favorite things about this holiday is the leftover turkey.  I like to get creative in how I use it up.  I make turkey gumbo, turkey pasta and this turkey Mexican lasagna.  It's a great way to completely transform your leftovers into a delicious new dish.


2 TBS oil
1/2 an onion, chopped
1/2 a bell pepper, chopped
2 cups leftover turkey, shredded or chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1 can black beans
1 can refried beans
1 cup chunky salsa
1 cup salsa verde (or green enchilada sauce)
1 package taco seasoning mix
2 cups shredded colby jack cheese (or cheddar)
18 corn tortilla
1 cup chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix shredded turkey with taco seasoning

Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium high heat.  Saute the onion and bell pepper in the oil until slightly softened, about 5-7 minutes.

Spread a very thin layer of chunky salsa on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.

Dip 6 corn tortillas in chicken broth and layer them in the baking dish.

Top with half of the refried beans.

Then top with half the black beans.

Then half the chunky salsa.

Then half the salsa verde.

Spread it out to completely.

Next, add half the seasoned turkey.

Then, half the sauteed onion and bell pepper.

Sprinkle on half the shredded cheese.

Repeat all the layers except the cheese (save the cheese for the end).

Add one final layer of tortillas (dipped in chicken broth).


Then add the other half of the cheese.

Finally, sprinkle on the chopped green onions.

Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake 5 minutes more.

Let sit 10 minutes before cutting and serving with a dollop of sour cream and more salsa.

This is awesome!  Everyone loved it!  I was stuffed but kept eating it.  Really delicious!  It's a great way to use leftover turkey (or chicken).  Give this a try, you won't regret it and Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2016

My Favorite Sugar Cookies

Thanksgiving will soon be upon us and it can't get here fast enough for me!  It's my absolute favorite holiday.  Food, Family, Food, Football, Food, Parades, and did I mention Food?  I love to cook and I love to eat (and I love to count my blessings) so Thanksgiving is the best day.  It is also the unofficial start to the holiday season when it becomes socially acceptable for me to blast Christmas music while baking sugar cookies.  Here is a simple, delicious recipe that you can bake while blasting Christmas music (the music is important to the recipe ;)


2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
holiday sprinkles or colored sugars
a little powdered sugar

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until very well blended.  (If you don't have a mixer, just whip it with a whisk really, really well until fluffy).

Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.

Next, add the egg and vanilla.  Mix well.

Then, stir in the flour until fully incorporated.

Chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes or so.  This helps the cookies keep their shape.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pinch off a heaping tablespoon of dough (more or less) and roll it into a ball (I use a small scoop so they are all the same size, but you can use a spoon).

Place some sprinkles (or colored sugar) into a small bowl and dip the ball of dough into the sprinkles.

Place it onto a cookie sheet.  Leave a few inches between them because you're going to press them flat later.

Put a little bit of powdered sugar in a bowl.  Rub a little butter on the bottom of a glass (I use the wrapper from the softened butter I used in the cookies) then dip the bottom of the glass into the powdered sugar.

Flatten the dough with the glass.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are light golden brown.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

These cookies are simple but they're a holiday favorite for a reason.  Buttery, sweet and delicious!  They make a great gift and are so pretty on a cookie platter at a party.  You'll want to make these every year.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake

I've been off sugar.  Me.  Off sugar.  But, I've been having a lot of trouble with inflammation in my ankles and sugar makes inflammation worse so, you gotta do what you gotta do.  It's been helping a little bit.  However, I've been going nuts.  I needed a cheat day.  If I kept it up cold turkey I would have went on a bender and devoured all the left over Halloween candy (which is a lot because we only had 4 trick-or-treaters this year).  I searched the pantry to see what I could make.  This cake has very few ingredients and it's super easy.  The reason it's called a dump cake (a word that my kids think is hilarious, btw) is because you just dump everything in a baking dish (no mixing bowl to dirty!).  It tastes pretty darn good, too.


1 (21oz) can cherry pie filling
1 (20oz) can crushed pineapple (in juice)
1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 stick butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pour the pie filling and pineapple (with the juice) into a 9x13 baking dish and mix together.

Sprinkle the dry cake mix over the top.

Spread the cake mix evenly and gently pat it down.

Sprinkle the coconut evenly over the cake mix.

Cut the butter into thin pats and place them evenly on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown on top.  Mine took 35 minutes.

Let it cool 5 - 10 minutes before serving.  I like to spoon it into bowls and serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.  

Store left overs in the fridge.  It's even better the next day (according to my Mama and she's a cake aficionado).

So, the cherry pineapple dump cake definitely satisfied my sweet tooth without being overly sweet.  It tasted kind of like a cobbler.  The cherry and pineapple marry into a magical flavor and the toasted coconut gives it a great texture.  It was was so easy to make and uses so few ingredients that it could be a great go to recipe.  Plus, you can change it up easily.  Use whatever flavors you like.  Apple pie filling, canned pears, spice cake mix and walnuts instead of coconut would be delicious!  Blueberry pie filling, canned peaches, white cake mix and pecans instead of coconut.  Double cherry pie filling and chocolate cake mix would be like a black forest cake.  The possibilities are endless.