Burritos with Black Beans, Chicken, Peppers

What is better than a fast supper? Nothing, try this with left over chicken, you could add what ever other veggies you like. These can also be frozen, cut in half for two servings.

vegetables2014-04-01 06.26.13
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  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 cup corn (frozen, or fresh)
  • 1.5 cup mozzarella or Mexican blend shredded cheese
  • 1 cup cooked rice (Optional)
  • ½ bell pepper, chopped (or use frozen when not in season.
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fajita seasoning
  • juice of half a line
  • 8 medium flour tortillas
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 2 chicken breasts cut into small strips or pieces brown slightly in pan, season with salt and pepper and a bit of garlic powder.
  1. Heat a large skillet to medium heat, add the peppers, onion, garlic, corn, cilantro, butter, juice of the lime, and spices, saute for 2-4 minutes on high. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. To make the wraps, Lay tortilla flat on plate or counter, add ¼ cup of the bean mixture, 2 tablespoons rice, 2-3 tablespoons cheese. Be sure to leave about 2-3 inches from the corners. Wrap burrito by folding over the edges. Continue this for all 8 burritos.
  3. After the burritos are wrapped heat a large skillet or pan, add 1 teaspoon oil, place the burritos on the skillet for 1-2 minutes on each side until they are golden and crispy. For the “ridges” use a griddle that has the ridged lines.

Oatmeal, Toffee, Chocolate Chip Bars

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Who doesn’t like a treat now and then. This is a good bar recipe to freeze. I had to make bars for an event and made these a week ahead and cut them up and shrink wrapped them and they really were like taking them out of the oven by letting them come to room temperature before eating. Use the best quality ingredients you can buy.


  • 1-1/3 cups (8 oz. pkg.) HEATH BITS ‘O BRICKLE Toffee Bits, divided
  • 3 cups quick-cooking or regular rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup(2 sticks) unsalted  butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

2. Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.

3. Stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended. Set aside 1/4 cup toffee bits. Stir remaining toffee bits and oats into batter (batter will be stiff). Spread batter into prepared pan; sprinkle reserved 1/4 cup toffee bits, chocolate chips, coconut and almonds over surface.

4. Bake 20- 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Add more nuts and chips on top if desired.

Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. Makes 24 to 36 bars.

Carrot Fries


I still have some carrots in my fridge from last fall, so it is time to really start to using before the fresh ones come in a few months. I wanted to make some fries and looked at various recipes, and then narrowed it down to a couple different methods and here are the results from those testings.

First you have to decide if you want to fry or bake. I tried a small batch each way and I have to say the crispiness of fried is my favorite. It has the crunch that I expect in a fry. It is important to have the oil hot enough and fry till they are golden. When baking they can still have the crunch but not nearly as much as when cooked in oil.

Here is the recipe, adjust to the amount of fried you want to make. I found this recipe for fried zucchini sticks and thought why not carrots? Eggplant? Beets? http://acozykitchen.com/zucchini-fries/ baked their fries. I did one small batch just to try it.

You will need a bag of precut carrots that cut into sticks or use fresh carrots. I do not peel my homegrown carrots. Cut into thin french fry like sticks, I did by hand as I only made one plate.

Here is how you bake Carrot fries:

They need to be coated with egg whites or whole eggs beaten. I prefer egg whites. Then dredge in the flour or bread crumbs you chose. Be sure to season with some salt and pepper and maybe some dried herbs like thyme or a seasoning blend.

Pre-heat oven to 475 degrees, Add about 2-3 tablespoons oil of your choice, coconut (good with heat), canola, safflower. Spread evenly in pan.

There are several ideas on what to coat the carrots with. Garbanzo bean flour, rice flour, All-purpose flour and panko crumbs.  I chose rice flour for baking and panko crumbs for frying. See what you have on hand or go give one of the above a try.

Dip the sticks in the eggs first then breading then lay in oiled pan. Bake until almost tender, anywhere from 6-8 minutes. Watch carefully. Then switch the oven to broiler and broil for 5-7 minutes or until nice and crispy. Let cool and eat! Watch carefully so the carrots do not burn.

To fry the carrots:

Use a large soup pan, deep fryer or high side electric frying pan. Add oil of your choice such as safflower, canola or coconut. Put a good amount of oil in, at least 3-inches. Heat oil to 350 degrees.

Using the same method of dipping in eggs, breading or crumbs then lay carefully in oil, do not crowd the pan, then let cook until golden. Take out of oil with strainer spoon, lay on a paper towel covered plate. Season with seasoning as they come out of pan. Fry in batches until done.

You could cut the carrots into coins or really thin slices with a mandolin or food processor. Do not dip them in any breading, just fry like potato chips! Yummy!!

I did not make a dip as I like to eat just plain fries. But a creamier dip with sour cream, yogurt or mayo type would seem to work very well with the carrot fries.








Nothing is better than a fast and tasty meal during the week. I really enjoy white sauce pizza, it is a different taste with lots of personal options available. When making the sauce it is important to taste it for seasoning. Add it little by little as you cannot take it out if you over do it.

best white sauce pizza

Chicken, White Sauce Pizza


1 Naan bread package (2) or 1 medium size pizza crust

2 chicken breasts, cooked and seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder. Sprinkle with a pizza seasoning.

8 cloves of garlic roasted– it is very important to roast and get that sweet flavor, raw will not cut it in this recipe. (see below for how to roast garlic bulbs)

1-2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1/4 cup half and half

1/2 cup milk

1 small squeeze of Sriracha sauce (in ethnic dept.)

Parmesan Cheese – this will vary, just use handfuls

Pizza Seasoning 1-2 teaspoons

2 -3 cups pizza cheese mix or mozzarella cheese shredded

1 medium red onion finely chopped or make them caramelized – using white onions (see below for how to)

fresh parsley


How to:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees with pizza stone.

Cook chicken breast with sprinkling of salt and pepper, pizza seasoning. Let cool, thinly slice or cut into smaller pieces, set aside.

In same skillet, melt butter in small skillet on medium low heat. Add flour and whisk until it is mixed well. You are now making a “rue”.  Slowly add half and half and milk,  yogurt, cook until thickened, add a large handful of Parmesan cheese, add the roasted garlic and squeeze of sauce. Season with sprinkling of pizza seasoning, salt and pepper and. Taste and season to taste.

Put naan bread on a piece of parchment paper.  You will be making 2 separate pizzas. Spread with white sauce, sprinkle more Parmesan cheese on top. Add onions, the mozzarella cheese.

Using a large spatula, pizza paddle or flat sided cookie sheet, slide the pizza on the parchment paper onto the stone. Bake until golden brown and cheese is bubbling. About 8-14 minutes. Keep an eye on it so it does not burn.

As soon as it out of the oven, sprinkle with a good handful of chopped parsley. Serve!!

options: add other pre-cooked veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, pureed squash, fried potatoes.

Add different meats like turkey, chicken or turkey sausage.


How to roast garlic:

Cut off top of garlic head about 1/2 inch. Drizzle with olive oil. Place in a piece of tin foil and wrap or in a garlic roaster. Put in a pre-heated 350 oven from 40-50 minutes or until very soft. Let cool. Unwrap and squeeze it out of the garlic skins. Mash fine with a fork and season with salt and pepper.

How to caramelize onions:



  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium yellow onions, halved and sliced paper thin (about 4 cups)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


How to


  1. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium-low heat until foaming.
  2. Add the onions, and let them cook, stirring rarely, until they are deep golden brown and caramelized, about 45 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper, remove from the pan, and let cool.



Beet, Avocado, Grapefruit Salad with Cashew, Pomegranate Dressing

Grapefruit and avocado are in season yet so enjoy them while they are at their peak. You can purchase a good pomegranate juice, such as Pom to make this dressing, if you feel it is too tart add a couple drizzles of honey to make it just the taste for you!


beets grapefruit avocado

1 bunch beets (red or golden)
1 avocado
1 grapefruit (peeled and segmented)

Wash beets and trim top and bottom.  Place in oven proof dish.  Add a splash of water and cover tightly with foil.  Roast for around 45 minutes at 400 degrees or until tender.
Cool and then peel and quarter.  Place in bowl and add a splash of redwine vinegar, EVOO, salt and pepper.  Toss.

Arrange beets on plate and intersperse with grapefruit and sliced avocados.

Cashew, Pomegranate Dressing
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 cup grape seed oil
1/2 cup unsalted cashews
Put all ingredients in a blender and drizzle onto beet salad.

This dressing will not keep very long before the nuts soften up, so use in a day if you can. You can also use it as a dressing on any cooked beet dish. It is wonderfully sweet and tart!



Broccoli, Chicken & Cheddar Soup

Time to warm up with a soup recipe! This is an easy soup and gets better each day!

broccoli cheddar chicken soup 2014Ingredients:

1 pound fresh or frozen broccoli (use more or less to your liking)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2/3 cup chopped onion

1 cup carrots shredded or julienned (I used my garden carrots from the fall)

1/2  cup flour

2 cups half and half

6 cups organic chicken broth

2 large chicken breasts, cooked and cubed

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon or more of freshly ground black pepper

1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt

1 left over Parmasean rind (optional– I always keep one in the freezer to add to soups)

2 cups shredded mild Cheddar cheese (or combination of sharp and mild)

1/2 block of Chipotle blend cheese (about 1/2 cup– I had it left over in the fridge and decided to add it–yummy)

1/2 teaspoon fresh nutmeg (go ahead and use pre-ground if you don’t have the whole nutmeg. You must really try to use whole nutmeg, it is so much more intense. Just keep in the freezer.

Saute the onion in the butter. add flour and using a whisk over medium heat stir until all combined well. Stir constantly and add the chicken broth. Bring to a slight boil to thicken, then turn down to medium low.  Add 2 cups of half and half.

Add the broccoli, carrots and cook until broccoli is tender.

Add the chicken. Add the cheese and keep stirring until all melted. Add the nutmeg.

Adjust salt and pepper as needed.  Serve hot!


This is a wonderful salad recipe that I received from my friend Rachel. I love it and it is so easy to remember. See if you can figure out why it is callsed 3 C’s & 2 P’s. Thank you Rachel for sharing :)

3 C’s & 2 P’s Salad

2 c's 2 ps salad

Cabbage cole slaw mix ( I used my red cabbage from my garden which I store in the fridge and 1 small bag of broccoli slaw)

Cashews (whole and as many as you like)

Carrots (I used my shredded carrots that I had in the fridge)

Peppers (I used a bag of mixed color sweet peppers)

Poppy Seed Dressing (recipe below)

Mix all vegetables together in large bowl, drizzle dressing over then sprinkle on lots of cashews! Enjoy!

Maple Poppy Seed Dressing

3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar ( I use Bragg’s)

2 teaspoons poppy seeds

a generous pinch of salt

Whisk together all ingredients. Taste and adjust as needed.  Double if needed. Will keep up to a week in the fridge.

Squash Apple Soup


With below O temperatures this is the time of year you make as much soup as possible. I used my stored squash and Honey Crisp apples for this tasty soup. Perfect with some crunchy grilled french bread or bread sticks!

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup diced onions
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
3 cups cubed butternut squash (about 2-3 medium squash)
Pre-roast squash in oven at 375 for about 45-60 minutes or until soft.
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 apples, peeled and diced ( I used Honey Crisp that I had from my tree last fall,  but use a good apple that you like)
1 good pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 bay leaves
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup heavy cream

How to:

Heat olive oil and oil  in a soup pan.  Add onions and garlic.  Cook until onion turns translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add apple and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add cooked butternut squash and thyme. Stir to combine. Stir in chicken broth and season with salt and pepper, cayenne, nutmeg, bay leaves, brown sugar . You may have to add more chicken broth if you like thinner soup.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until soups is very warm, about 30 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree soup. Alternatively, let the soup cool slightly and carefully puree in batches in a traditional blender.

Add the cream just before serving and take out the bay leaves.
Serve hot!!

Corn and Sausage Chowder

This is the time of year for any kind of soup or chowder. What is the difference? Well where I am located soup is thin, chowder is thick. All are just the perfect dish to warm you up on a cold winters day.

sausage potato chowder

Using my frozen corn and potatoes from the last summer’s garden here is one I really like to make often!

1 pound Italian sausage
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup flour
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups diced red or yellow potatoes (I keep the skins on about half of the potatoes)
2 cups frozen corn kernels
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
dash of hot sauce
1 cup milk
1 cup half and half
1 tablespoon butter
1 package (8 ounce) cream cheese
2 shredded carrots (optional)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon fresh minced parsley
1 -2 cups cheddar cheese
salt to taste

Brown the sausage in a stock pot or large pot for soup. Add onion and brown until translucent.  Add the flour and butter, stir well. Slowly add chicken broth, constantly stirring. Bring to a higher temperature to get the lumps out. Then add the cream cheese. Stirring constantly. Add in the potatoes, corn, hot sauce, carrots, pepper, garlic powder.
Turn down to medium low and let potatoes get cooked. After potatoes are tender, add hot sauce, milk, half and half, cheddar cheese. Stir until cheese is combined well. Add salt. Let soup heat thoroughly. Serve in bowls topped with fresh, chopped parsley.

It seems that the longer soups meld the better they are. This one is good for a week in the fridge, but rarely lasts that long.

Peppermint Pie

Another Christmas is gone and in the history books. Use up some of those left over candy canes for this soothing treat for New Years. It is a lighter dessert. Marshmallows could also be homemade which are tastier and softer.

Happy New Year to all!



  • Graham Cracker Crust:
  • 1 1/4 C. graham cracker crumbs, about 16 squares
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 C. melted butter
  • For filling:
  • 24 lg. white marshmallows
  • 1/2 C. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 C. chilled whipping cream
  • 4 Tbs.  or more of crushed peppermint candy



To make crust: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix crumbs, sugar and butter. Press mixture firmly against bottom and sides of an 8-inch pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes and cool.

To make filling: Heat marshmallows and milk in saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, just until marshmallows have melted. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, salt, peppermint extract. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until mixture mounds slightly when dropped from a spoon. Beat whipping cream in chilled bowl until stiff. Stir marshmallow mixture until blended and fold into the whipped cream. Pour into crust, refrigerate for at least 12 hours. Just before serving, sprinkle generously with crushed candy.


Yield: 1 8-inch pie


IMG_3280I was looking for a lentil soup recipe and this was one I had to try. It had 5 stars so it must be good right? It did not disappoint. Ina’s recipes are simple yet tasty, very rarely do I have to change to my taste.

If you cannot find or want to order the french lentils, go ahead and use what you can find. I purchase at an organic food source. You can also use the colored lentils.

Green Lentil Soup with Sausage

Ina Garten

Ingredients* 1 pound French green lentils (recommended: du Puy)
* 1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for serving
* 4 cups diced yellow onions (3 large)
* 4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only (2 leeks)
* 1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 large cloves)
* 1 tablespoon kosher salt
* 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
* 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 3 cups medium diced celery (8 stalks)
* 3 cups medium diced carrots (4 to 6 carrots)
* 3 quarts Homemade Chicken Stock,  or canned broth
* 1/4 cup tomato paste
* 1 pound kielbasa, cut in 1/2 lengthwise and sliced 1/3-inch thick
* 2 tablespoons dry red wine or red wine vinegar
* Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving and/or chives or fresh parsley

DirectionsIn a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain.In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat the olive oil and saute the onions, leeks, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are translucent and tender. Add the celery and carrots and saute for another 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, tomato paste, and drained lentils, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, or until the lentils are cooked through and tender. Check the seasonings. Add the kielbasa and red wine and simmer until the kielbasa is hot.
Serve drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with grated Parmesan and some crusty bread. Delish!!
Here is the link where I have ordered those fab lentils:

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