Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spicy Fish Stew!!!

This is a great, flavorful fish stew, unlike all flavors of others I have tasted! So YUMMY, yet healthy for you!  My sister, Jill, found the basic recipe, and she and I knocked it up a few taste-buds!  I am a multi-level flavor junkie~ So is my sister, and we both enjoy making a good recipe, GREAT!  My boys, who usually are not too fond of fish, love this dish!  They love the flavor, and the spiciness!  IF you do not like too much spice, cut the jalapenos by half! We Texans LOVE the heat, though!! :)  We usually serve this over cooked Quinoa, but it would taste great with any rice or grain~ so good!! 


4 pounds frozen tilapia filets
1 large onion, cut in half, then thin strips (I cut those strips in half, again)
2 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
4-5 Tbsps olive oil
1  14 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
12 oz can sliced jalapenos in 'escabeche'~ which has carrots and onion in it- drained, cut up a bit more (found in the Mexican food section of grocery store) 
1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup white wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup cooking sherry
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp basil
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
2-3 tsp brown sugar
5 bay leaves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Spicy Fish Stew, served with cooked Quinoa!  SO GOOD!
Just wanted you to see the jalapenos~ there are a few good brands! 
Saute garlic a bit, in olive oil on low heat~ do not let get brown or overcook~ 
Add onions and bay leaves.  Don't cook anymore, til filets and sauce are added~
Put frozen tilapia filets over onions and bay leaves, over lapping each other~ 
Add tomatoes, jalapenos, and all other flavorings and spices into a big measuring bowl and stir well~
Pour all the spiced up sauce over the tilapias filets~ 
Cover, and cook on low for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time~
Stir it all up, several times during cooking time, which will break up pieces of tilapia, which is what you want!   Further into cooking, push pieces that look uncooked, down more~
All cooked up, and ready to be served into bowls over the quinoa, or rice!   Serve with crusty bread too!! YUM, and healthy, too!! 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Beef Florentine Skillet Rice!

Here's a good, quick weekday dinner that goes far, using good ol' Rice A Roni!!!  My boys just scarf it down!  I make this when I am in a hurry and the boys want tasty food now!!  :)  This makes a lot, so if you have a smaller family, cut this in half, and use a regular size box of Rice a Roni!


1 pound lean ground beef
8 oz. sliced baby bella mushrooms
8 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 box family size Beef flavored Rice a roni (13.6 oz)~ made to package instructions, but cut water by 1/2- 3/4 cup so it's not mushy!
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt- or to taste
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp butter

Saute mushrooms in butter til golden, take out and set aside.  In same skillet brown the ground beef, then drain any grease.  Add the spinach, and spices.  Return the mushrooms to pan.
Make up Rice a Roni in different pot according to normal directions, but cut some water.
After rice is done cooking, add it to skillet with beef mixture, and stir well!  Dinner is ready!  Great served with a cold salad!  Love good, easy recipes, as we are always so busy!!  Aren't we all??!! :)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic Gravy!

Chicken with 40 cloves, made my way~ with GRAVY!!  This is a really easy recipe that will knock you socks off!!  So much flavor!!  Garlic gets sweet and creamy, when cooked this way! You will LOVE this!!!!!

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic Gravy!

10-12 chicken thighs
Salt, pepper, onion powder to coat both sides of chicken
2 whole bulbs of garlic, around 40 cloves-peeled
4Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
2 tsp herbs de provence

For gravy~ you'll need some Wondra powder, some milk (you'll use as much as you need, or want- the Wondra powder will make the gravy to the thickness you want.  Salt gravy to taste)
In a Dutch oven, saute whole cloves on medium high heat till slightly golden, in the olive oil, butter mix.  
When golden, transfer garlic cloves to a small bowl, but keep all the oil in pot!  DON'T throw that out!  We want that garlicky oil to sear our chicken in!! :)
Season chicken on skin side, with the salt, pepper, and onion powder.
On high heat now, put chicken in skin side down, and sear it till skin gets nice and slightly crispy. About 5 minutes.  Salt, pepper, and onion powder the back side of the chicken, while the skin side is searing!
Turn over, and sear the other side for a couple minutes. 
You will need to do this in batches, so take first 'group' out and set aside on plate, to do the same thing with the rest of the chicken.
Once you have sear up all the chicken, pile them back into Dutch oven and  add the herbs de provence- try to get that all over chicken, then add the cloves of garlic back into pot!  Cover with lid, and put into preheated 350 degree oven.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.  After baking time is done, transfer all the chicken and garlic onto a warm platter, but leave all the pan drippings in pot! I keep my platter of chicken in a very low oven to keep it warm while I whip up the gravy!
Put all the tasty pan drippings, still in Dutch oven, on the stove top, on medium heat and whisk in  some milk.
Add in the Wondra powder and whisk till the gravy is to the thickness of your liking.  If you think it too thin, slowly add more powder, if too thick, add more milk.  When just right, taste for saltiness. Add salt, if needed~ to your liking!!
This looks just perfectly right to me!  Now for the last step~
Take all those yummy garlic cloves and add to the gravy you just whipped up!!
Now pour all that great garlicky gravy all over your yummy cooked chicken that was waiting on a platter for ya, and serve!!  I make this up with my Jalapeno Cheesy Bread (recipe on this blog, August 2013), and the boys use the bread to sop up more of the gravy! It is finger licking AMAZING!!  Hope you enjoy it as much as we McKeels do!!  :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Fried Onion Rings!

My son, Clay and I were having cravings for some fried onion rings while watching the Dallas Cowboys football game, so we got to work!!  We always have plenty of onions in the house!!  Being so simple and cheap to make, I'm surprised more people don't think to make their own, homemade onion rings ~ nothing tastes better, plus we always have fun while cooking them up!  I don't have any girls, so my boys and I cook up the more 'manly' stuff together!!  Onion rings being one of these manly recipes!  I love when they cook with me!! It's too fun!!  :)  They all really like this recipe for O rings!!! Enjoy~

Fried Onion Rings!

Take about a cup of buttermilk, put in 2 eggs and mix well~

In a bowl, put 2 cups all purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp season salt, 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper- depends on if you like that extra spice or not- your choice, 1 tsp black pepper, 3/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp garlic powder.  Mix well~

Cut 2 large onions into slender rounds, and separate the rings~ 
In batches, dump a few rings in the buttermilk.  Get them all nice and wet~
Next, into the flour mixture- coat well~

Heat up about an inch of peanut oil, or  canola oil- we like the taste of them cooked in peanut oil best! :) Heat oil to 375 degrees, then plop a bunch of rings in, careful not to burn yourself, so don't PLOP them too much! :)
After about a minute or so, and they are golden brown on one side, flip them over~

Cook other side for another minute, or so.  When both sides are done, it is time to pull them out and put them on paper towels to drain off the extra oil!  Throw a bit of salt over them, as soon as you pull them out! 

Look at that perfect O ring!!!!!  YUM!!

Make up a bunch, as they get eaten faster than you can cook them up!!   My boys had some friends over, and they did not last long!! Surprise your kids and Hubby (or wife) and whip these up!!  They will thank you for it!! :)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Alamo, Texas Beef Stack!!

REMEMBER THE ALAMO!!!!  Davie Crockett would have been happy to eat this one!!   I LOVE making up new recipes~ so empowering, so I named it, the Alamo Texas Beef Stack!!  Haha!!!  (Texans are a proud bunch!)  My boys all love crescent rolls, so I whipped up this easy, cheesy Beef Stack using them on top and bottom of this dish! My teen boys and hubby all RAVED!!  They said this is a MUST cook up, 'once a month' meal!  Since it was so, so easy to make, I will, indeed, whip this up again and again!!  We served these with sour cream and homemade guacamole!!  YUMMY!

 Alamo, Texas Beef Stack!
2 lbs ground beef
1 medium onion-chopped small
1 Tbsp minced garlic-rounded
1 8oz cube cream cheese
3  4oz cans whole green chile peppers- drained
1 tsp salt- or to taste
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tubes Big and Flaky Crescent Rolls
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar
1 Tbsp olive oil- to grease 15x11 dish with

Cook up the ground beef, onions, and minced garlic on medium high heat, til beef is all browned.  Drain any excessive fat!  Put the ground beef back on stovetop on low heat, and add in the cream cheese.  (If you cut it into chunks, it melts faster.)  Stir it up well!  When all melted up, add the seasonings! 

Grease a 15x11 pan with the olive oil, then take one tube of crescents and put them down flat on the bottom of pan~ Stretch them a bit to fit just right!

Put your ground beef mixture over the crescents you just laid down.  Spread it all out evenly, all over~

Next, place your whole green chiles over the entire top of the ground beef.  I just ripped one side of the chiles to spread them out, and lay them flat!

Now, place around 2 cups of the cheddar cheese over the whole chiles.

Another tube of crescents goes over the cheddar cheese!

THEN, MORE CHEESE!!  Not a recipe for one on a diet! :) Perfect for growing kids, however!  This is about a cup, to top it off!!  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes!

Just LOOK at all that gooey yumminess!!  Let it sit for 5 minutes before cutting into it, though!  I know, it's hard to do!!!  It was hard for my boys! :)

Yummy Texas Beef Stack~ all served up!!  You've got to taste this one!!  Tasted great with sour cream and Guacamole!!  Hope you enjoy, and Remember The Alamo (Texas Beef Stack!) ;)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Cheesy Toasted Almond Dip!

We LOVE this dip!  We make it every Thanksgiving, and Christmas!!  If you like toasted almonds, you are in for a treat!!  Great fall dip, and so easy to make!

8 oz. Cream Cheese
6 oz. Shredded Swiss Cheese
1/3 cup mayo
1/3- 1/2 Slivered Almonds~ Toasted in pan spayed with pam (only takes a couple minutes on stove top.  Watch and stir til they are mostly golden)
3 Tbsp chopped green onions
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp sugar
Put all ingredients into bowl, reserving some of your toasted almonds for later, and mix well~

Spray a quiche pan, or any other pan of like size, with Pam.  (remember, you'll be serving it in the pan you bake it in, so make it pretty!  :) Place all of the  cheese mixture into pan (flatten it all down)  and bake in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes!  If top is not golden enough, throw it under broiler for a quick minute.  That's what I always do to get that pretty color!

All cooked up, and ready to eat!  TOP OFF WITH THE RESERVED TOASTED ALMONDS YOU PUT ASIDE!  You can serve this with pita chips, wheat thins, crostini, or even vegetables!  Any way you want!  We've eaten it with french bread before, and it was great!  It's really yummy!!!!  :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Crescent Chicken Puffs!

Was looking for a good appetizer, that's fast and easy to take to a party where there would be all ages of people.  Needed something most would enjoy.  It came to me~ who doesn't like Crescent rolls??!  Use the crescent rolls as the 'puff' and stuff it!  These turned out great, and people loved them! I made them before the party, brought them there, uncooked, then threw them into the hostess' oven to cook, so we'd have nice and hot puffs!

Crescent Chicken Puffs!

2 tubes of big and flaky crescent rolls-cut all crescents in half
1  13 oz. can chicken meat, drained
1/2 cup minced onion
4 Tbsp Mayo
2 Tbsp sour cream
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsps tarragon
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste- needs salt as crescents are sweet

What you'll need! Mix all together into a bowl, and stir well~
Cut each piece of crescent in half, so you'll have 16 pieces, instead of 8 from each tube.

Put chicken mixture, about the size of a large gum ball, or golf ball, into center of crescent half. Pull up sides, and squeeze seams together and shape into a ball shape....doesn't have to be perfectly round! :)
After you shape the puffs, egg wash the tops of them.  (egg wash is just the whites of an egg mixed with a tad bit of water)  The egg wash gives it a better look after cooked up!  Put onto cookie sheet either sprayed with Pam, or on wax paper.  Bake in 350 degree, preheated oven, for 13-15 minutes, until nicely golden brown.
Take them out of oven and place on nice serving platter!

See the yummy chicken inside these little treasures??  

They didn't last long!  All ages really liked these!  If you're looking for a fast, easy appetizer that is well liked,  this one's a good one!