Tag Archives: recipe

Green Chile Casserole

Green Chile Stew

A few years ago, I was at the brand new H-E-B grocery store closest to me. Okay, it wasn’t close to me at all – it’s about a 45 minute drive with no traffic. Someone was giving out samples of Cookwell & Company’s Two Step Green Chile Stew and I tried it. Yes, please! Even better, they were on sale buy one get one free. Well, of course I grabbed some and took them home. (Yes, I paid for them).

Ever since then, this stuff has been SO hard to find! I’ve driven 45 minutes specifically for that (well, I love H-E-B grocery stores anyway, so I wasn’t too horribly upset to wander around to make it worth the drive) and they have been sold out. H-E-B Central Market is always out as well!

Last weekend I hit the jackpot and I found a TON of them at the Central Market in Fort Worth. Yes! Tonight I made one of the recipes on their website and felt like I should share it with y’all. I would have taken a picture, but as you can imagine it was not a “pretty” dish. No magazine features for this one, but it sure does taste awesome! Enjoy!

Green Chile Casserole (courtesy Cookwell & Company)

3 cups cooked shredded chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken – perfect amount)

10 corn tortillas, cut into strips (1/2 inch x 2-3 inches)

15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained

11 oz. can cream-style corn

1 jar Cookwell & Co. Two Step Green Chili Stew Mix

2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Colby Jack cheese

Salsa/sour cream/guacamole for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 pan.

In a large bowl, mix chicken, tortillas, black beans, corn, and stew mix. Stir until combined. Pour into 9×13 pan, spreading evenly. Cover top with cheese, then cover with foil. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

Serve hot, with salsa, sour cream, and/or guacamole!

* This is not a typical “casserole”. It would be excellent served over rice or as a taco/enchilada filling too! Next time I might add a few more tortillas to try to make it a little bit thicker. This recipe is a keeper! I have a feeling it will be even better reheated as leftovers tomorrow night. 

* If you see this product, grab it and use it! The flavor is wonderful – not too spicy, but not too bland either. It DOES have Hatch chiles in it, after all! (Gluten free as well!)

* Cookwell & Company did not pay me to write this, they most likely have no idea I even wrote this! I just love this product and wish it was easier to find :) On their website they have several products that I have never seen in stores – oh, to get my hands on some of those soups they make! 

Enjoy! This is an easy, quick, somewhat healthy meal for your family! This recipe definitely qualifies as comfort food in my house.

Linked up to my friends at the Dream*Create*Inspire link party! Go check it out! DREAMCREATEINSPIRESIDEBARBUTTON


Sweet potato-apple

Sweet potato-apple dish

Sweet potato-apple dish

We love sweet potatoes in our house. We especially love this sweet potato-apple dish. My mother-in-law started this dish, but I’ve changed it a bit. Her version has cranberries, and while I love cranberries, they aren’t always readily available. I normally just make it with the potatoes and apples, but this past few times I’ve added in the pecans. It’s like a nice fall evening in your mouth. (I even made myself laugh with that one)

Sweet potato-appleI just wanted y’all to see my awesome photography and photo styling skills. Maybe I should start a new hobby.

Sweet potato-apple dish


  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 apples (I use Gala apples, but you choose what you like best)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 TBSP stick butter (the real stuff, not margarine and not in a tub)
  • 3-4 TBSP pecan pieces (optional)
  • sprinkles of cinnamon
  • sprinkles of nutmeg (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse sweet potatoes.
  2. Leaving the skin on, cut sweet potatoes and apples into cubes. Place into a 8x8 baking dish. Cut butter into thin pats and place in with the potatoes and apples. Be sure to stick some in the middle. Sprinkle the brown sugar and spices over the top and lastly, top with pecans.
  3. Cover your dish with aluminum foil and cook for 45-50 minutes.
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I know, I know. It’s not Tex-Mex or Mexican food. Pick your jaw up off the ground. ;)






Mother’s Day cleaning

I hope y’all had a great Mother’s Day! I had breakfast made for me, watched a movie with my 2 little boys, giggled with my sweet little girl and they gave me a beautiful new purse. It’s stunning and has purple accents! I love purple!

While I know most mothers relax on Mother’s Day, I suddenly felt the urge to do a “mother’s day cleaning” of the banisters of our stairs. I have been going up and down those stairs, noticing them getting dirtier and dirtier. I rarely have that “urge” so I ran with it. However, after going through the cleaning supplies, I found that I didn’t have any “all purpose cleaner”.
All purpose cleaner

  • spray bottle
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2 TBSP dishwashing soap

Directions are very simple – mix it all together in the spray bottle. See, very simple.

I started cleaning with a paper towel, the graduated to a sponge and followed with a paper towel. Now, there’s a before and after picture. Don’t judge. Remember, I have 3 young children that go up and down these stairs at least 50 times a day.

Before and after cleaningI found a few “recipes” for this all purpose cleaner. I just went with the one I had all the ingredients for. Cottage Sweet Cottage is the one I chose to use. Big Box Detox also has one that’s similar. Any of these will work. I think it worked very well and I love my clean banisters

I finally used the white vinegar for what it SHOULD be used for instead of, I don’t know, plotting to seriously injure my husband.


Tex-Mex Chicken Salad

Tex-Mex Chicken Salad | Real {Cheap} Housewives of Texas

And again, with the Tex-Mex food. We clearly have an addiction to it.

I found this recipe at Weight Watchers. I did change my version. I never use fat free/reduced fat anything. They seem appealing but they only add in more stuff (typically sugar or sodium) to make the stuff taste decent enough to eat. Just don’t do it, use the real stuff. The original also never mentions exactly how you should eat it. A typical chicken salad you eat on bread. This Tex-Mex chicken salad (which we’ve had twice) is best on a bed of lettuce or salad mix.

Kids loved it, husband loved it and my parents loved it. My brother was on the fence even though he had two helpings. I’ll say it’s a winner.

Tex-Mex Chicken Salad


  • 1 1/4 pounds uncooked boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 small sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 2 medium uncooked scallions, sliced
  • 15 1/4 oz canned yellow corn, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salad Mix


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (I have boiled it as well)
  2. Place chicken in a glass baking dish and bake until juices run clear, about 25 minutes. Cut into bite size pieces.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, cumin and chili powder.
  4. Stir in chicken, peppers, scallions and corn; mix well. Gently fold in beans; cover and chill at least two hours. Yields about 1 cup per serving over your choice of salad mix.
  5. *Optional - add tomatoes and/or avocados
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Spiked pulled pork

Spiked pulled pork

I bet you’re asking me why it’s called “Spiked pulled pork”? Last weekend, while I was at Pinterest Party I sent my husband a text asking him to put the roast in the slow cooker at noon so we could have it for dinner when I got home on Sunday. I sent him the very simple directions to follow. He okayed and did it.

Fast forward to Sunday night when I arrived home, after the Pin Party and going grocery shopping. We get everything all together for dinner and to the table. I’m pulling the pork apart, commenting on how tender it was. Literally falling apart as I touch it with the fork. He makes no comments, we sit down to eat, I take a bite. It might be the best pulled pork we’ve had in a while.

He happily announces “Oh I added a little to it. It didn’t look like it was going to cook well with just the BBQ sauce so I looked up and saw the vodka on the fridge.”

At least he didn’t make it spicy. And … he did cook.

Spiked pulled pork (crockpot/slow cooker)


  • Pork shoulder (also known as pork butt, I don't ask why.)
  • BBQ sauce (I use Austin's Own or Weber brand - neither have HFCS)
  • Vodka


  1. Cover bottom of the cooker dish with some BBQ sauce.
  2. Place pork roast on top of BBQ sauce and pour BBQ sauce over the top of the roast
  3. Add a 1/2 cup to cup of vodka (or in his words "Pour freely")
  4. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, turning over a few times for perfect tenderness
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And I’m really not kidding when I say its probably the most tender, fall apart pork I’ve had.


Pin there. Done that. – Killing my husband edition

Pin there. Done that. is back, y’all!

Source: fitsugar.com via Tarah @ on Pinterest


My husband was struck down with what we thought were allergies. I just happen to be on Pinterest perusing and this pin popped up. I thought to myself “Great! I can be all sympathetic and help him.” For those who don’t know, I’m probably one of the least sympathetic person in regards to my husband being sick. The rule is he typically gets 24 hours of sympathy, and then you need to stop your whining/moaning/belly aching.

Back to my moment of sympathy. He was about to go to sleep. I told him to stay awake long enough for me to make this to try. I ran to the kitchen and started gathering the ingredients. I had everything but apple cider vinegar. I’ve been really good about keeping my pantry stocked. I guess I just lapsed on this one. I’m okay with finding substitutes for recipes, so once again, I used my Google skills. The substitute – regular white vinegar. Oh I have that! Did it and didn’t think anything of it.

I took it to him, he drank it. A little reluctantly, but he drank it.

This was on Saturday or Sunday. I can’t remember.

He’s said a few times since that he thinks that maybe I was trying to kill him. That would have been too easy. :)

Sooooo … last night he was discussing this drink with my mother. When he mentioned I used regular vinegar, she immediately had a look of horror on her face. Then looked at me, quickly letting mknow that apple cider vinegar and regular vinegar are most definitely NOT the same, especially for drinking/ingesting.

This obviously did not sit well with him. He started googling. And googling. AND googling some more ….

“Did you know that you made me drink something that cleans appliances and … VAGINAS?!?!?!”

Yes people, I tried to kill my husband by forcing allowing him to drink something that would clean a lady’s vagina.

The moral of this Pin There. Done that. story – it’s probably not best to substitute some things.


Taco Turkey Casserole {recipe}

Taco Turkey Casserol

When Heather and I discuss recipe on blogs, we often mention our thoughts on the pictures of the food. People, if the food doesn’t look appetizing, don’t capture it on film, er … Camera Roll/Photo Stream. There are foods that look awesome in pictures. Burgers? Yep. Cupcakes or cakes? Yes sir. Casseroles? OH hell no. They are NEVER pretty. Ever. Just don’t worry about the picture of them.

With that established, there is no picture of this Taco Turkey Casserole but Megan at Honey We’re Home has a picture. It’s a pretty decent picture. I’ve taken her recipe and stepped it up a notch. It’s a simple recipe with 4 ingredients, but my version has 2 more to mix in.

Taco Turkey Casserole {recipe}


  • 1lb Extra lean ground turkey (Jennie O is my choice)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 cup Brown rice (I used instant)
  • taco seasoning
  • 3/4 cup all natural sour cream (Lilly's or Breakstone are good choices)
  • 1 cup Colby Jack cheese


  1. Preheat oven 275.
  2. Brown the ground turkey. Then I add the seasoning and black beans to the meat. Cook the rice the same time you're browning the turkey. Combine the cooked rice into the meat. Stir for a good and even mix, then add sour cream and cheese, save some cheese for the top. Pop in the oven for 15 minutes, just enough to melt the cheese nicely.
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We clearly like our Mexican food here in Texas. We’ve got a Walking Taco Casserole, Taco Soup, Taco Salad, and Beef Taco Penne Pasta Kickasserole. After reading that list, we clearly need to branch out on the food we eat.

PS. on the kid scale – One had seconds and would have had thirds if he hadn’t been drawn in by M&Ms, another cleaned his plate and I’m just thankful that Savannah eats a meal instead of drinking her way through life these days.


Quick Taco Seasoning {recipe}

So as I’m putting together my menu for the week, I added a taco casserole on the menu. This meal has been on the menu the past 2 weeks but was NEVER made. “Awesome, I have all the ingredients!”, I thought to myself. Yeah, you should ALWAYS double check on that. I went to grab my taco seasoning that I always get from the “Ethnic” spice section. I look for the white lid, and find a pork rub and some cajun seasoning. Well, crap. Then I realized it’s not too hard to make a quick taco seasoning.

Quick Taco Seasoning | Real Cheap Housewives of Texas


Quick Taco Seasoning {recipe}


  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  1. In a small bowl, mix together chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container.
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This would be great to use in Taco Soup – Heather’s Way.

Mediterranean Chicken Pasta

mediterranean chicken pasta


I have made this healthy meal twice now and both times I’ve done a “step” wrong (cooked the artichoke hearts wrong or didn’t keep the juice from the artichokes). Guess what? It still tastes excellent. All three children ate it and loved it. Okay, so 2 of them love it and one just moderately likes it and probably just eats it because it is what I served. This is definitely a keeper for our house.


Mediterranean Chicken Pasta


10 minutes

25 minutes

35 minutes

4 servings

347 Calories

9g fat (1g saturated)


  • 6-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (or just double the chicken broth like I did)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 1 7-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and cut into strips
  • 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 3 cups hot cooked campanelle or penne pasta
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)


  1. 1. Drain artichoke hearts, reserving marinade, and chop them. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; add chicken and garlic. Cook and stir until chicken is brown. Add the reserved artichoke marinade, broth, wine, and dried oregano.
  2. 2. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Stir in chopped artichokes, roasted peppers, and olives.
  3. 3. To serve, spoon chicken mixture over pasta. If desired, sprinkle with feta cheese. (and don't just BUY the feta cheese, actually use it. Unlike me.)
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Have y’all tried any of the recipes we’ve shared? I tried Taco Soup Heather’s Way, but I’ll change mine to “Taco Soup Heather’s Way made Tarah’s way” with ground turkey and less tomatoes.


Pin there. Done that. {Yummy}

I’m always looking to change up our menu. Isn’t everyone? Truth be told, everyone in my house could eat the same thing every week. I’m the one that needs things to be changed. We have one night a week that I plan to have breakfast. The kids LOVE having eggs and bacon for dinner. Apparently it’s the “in” thing for preschoolers. I’ve been rotating a breakfast scramble and doing eggs/bacon/hashbrowns all separate. (The pin is at the bottom this week because I took some kicka$$ pictures and REMEMBERED to take the pictures.)

Breakfast casserole

Easy Potato and Bacon Breakfast Casserole


  • 4 c. Southern/country-style hash browns (cubes), completely thawed (if they’re not thawed, they won’t cook correctly)
  • 1 12-oz. package bacon
  • 1 1/2 c. pepper jack cheese
  • 1 1/2 c. cheddar cheese
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c. milk*
  • about 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • about 10 turns freshly ground black pepper
  • *For high altitudes, reduce milk to 2/3 cup and sauté the potatoes in rendered bacon grease until partially cooked before baking.


  1. Begin cooking bacon. While the bacon is cooking, place the potatoes in a 9×13″ baking dish. Mix the cheeses together and sprinkle it over the potatoes. When the bacon is done cooking, drain it on a paper towel and reserve 2 tablespoons of the drippings. Cook the onions in the drippings for 2-3 minutes or until they’re tender and fragrant. Spread the onions over the cheese mixture and then sprinkle everything with the crumbled bacon. Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper and, whisking constantly, pour the egg mixture evenly over the potato mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for 7-8 hours.
  2. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350. Bake, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly but not brown. Allow to stand for 15 minutes before cutting. Serve with fresh fruit.
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Here’s the pin from Our Best Bites.


Since today is Valentine’s Day, here’s a dessert that would be great for that special someone, Better than “Playing Outside” Cake — It’s delicious, y’all! Make it. I’m serious.

And speaking of that special someone – don’t forget my “special” (that could be meant in SO many ways considering the link I’m about to post) someone is trying to purchase a bike for him and his friend to do bicycle rides together … on one bike. Our benefit – we get to laugh at their shenanigans and they’re perfectly fine with that. So giving and considerate of our funny bones and need for laughter.

AND … did you hear the news? Whitney is having another boy!! Check out her nursery plans!


Easy Taco Salad

easy taco salad

I don’t know about you, but we grew up eating this salad. Every time I make it, it takes me back to my childhood. This is just one of those recipes that you can put together easily for a quick meal, and everyone seems to enjoy it.

My husband had never even heard of this salad until he met me – and he doesn’t love it the way that I make it, which is fine with me. I’ve learned not to get upset if he doesn’t like something – that’s his problem, not mine! He just makes some adjustments to his and he’s happy. I’ve included his preferences as well!

Easy Taco Salad

10 minutes

Yield: 4


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Taco seasoning (We only use Penzey's Bold Taco)
  • Lettuce (I prefer romaine)
  • 1 can kidney beans or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • Catalina dressing
  • Salsa
  • Shredded cheese
  • Fritos or tortilla chips
  • Optional:
  • Diced tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole, cilantro


  1. Brown the ground beef with a little bit of water (1/4 cup or so) and taco seasoning. Drain.
  2. We prepare our own bowls, so this is how I generally do mine (in layers): Fritos, lettuce, ground beef, beans, cheese, catalina dressing, and a few more Fritos for the top :)
  3. My husband prefers to use tortilla chips and salsa instead of Fritos and Catalina dressing.
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What’s better than cake?

Better Than Playing Outside | RCHOTX

I found this recipe several years ago (with a saucy name).  This has become my go-to dessert to bring to any get-together.  Everyone usually oohs and aaahs over it, and our husbands are all in agreement.  It’s pretty fantastic!  I was always a little embarrassed when people would ask “What kind of cake is that?”  Now, instead of blushing (I am on staff at a church, people!!), I can thank one of the Real Cheap House Husbands of Texas.

At the Real Cheap Housewives Christmas party, we were all gathered around the {large} spread of food, and sweet Jaxon says “Daddy, what is that?”  Jody can be quick on his feet when he needs to be!  He replied, “That’s uh, uh, uh, Better than Playing Outside Cake!”  We all died laughing!  I give credit where credit is due.  Thanks, Jody for keeping it family friendly! Now this sinful dessert has a new name!

You will LOVE this cake, It’s easy to make and always gets rave reviews. Be warned, it’s rich.  If your new years resolution is to lose weight, try this in moderation.  Your Valentine will love a taste of this chocolate decadence!

Better Than Playing Outside Cake


  • Cake:
  • 1 box Chocolate Cake Mix (My favorite is Duncan Hines Chocolate Fudge)
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Tsp Pure Almond extract
  • 1 21 oz can of Comstock Cherry Pie Filling
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • Frosting:
  • 8 TBSP (1 stick) Butter (Use Butter, don't use margarine)
  • 4 TBSP unsweetened Cocoa powder
  • 1/3 c Whole Milk
  • 4 c Confectioner's Sugar (sifted)


  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Spray a 9x13 pan with nonstick cooking spray, set aside
  3. Combine cake mix, cherries, eggs, almond extract and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  4. Mix by HAND. (using a mixer causes the cherries to break down and changes the consistency of the cake).
  5. Pour into 9x13 pan
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Toothpick inserted will come out clean when cake is done.
  7. Frosting:
  8. Put butter in medium saucepan and melt over low heat. (2-3 minutes)
  9. Stir in the cocoa powder and milk.
  10. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute (stirring constantly)
  11. Remove from heat and stir in 4 C sifted confectioner's sugar. Add slowly until the frosting is thickened and smooth.
  12. Pour over cake, spreading with a spatula.
  13. It's best to work quickly with this frosting while it is still warm.
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Old-Fashioned Beef Stew

Hey guys! Long time, no blog. I have to give Heather and Tarah props for picking up the slack around here when the rest of us (or at least me) drop off the face of the earth. This whole pregnancy thing has really taken me down a notch. I am 16 weeks along now and *starting* to feel better, so I am hoping I can pitch in on a more regular basis once again.

Speaking of feeling better, yesterday was the first day in a long time I actually felt good. I worked at the preschool, picked up my son from school, and STILL had energy to burn (and hadn’t gotten sick!). That’s a good day right there. It was cold and rainy around here and I was craving beef stew. Logan and I headed to the store to pick up the ingredients I needed (for a recipe I found on my phone last minute while waiting in the car line when the craving hit–yep, that’s how I work now). There were several recipes that popped up when I googled “best beef stew recipe” but I was looking for one that didn’t have anything fancy and didn’t require a bunch of ingredients. I just wanted a traditional, old-fashioned, thick (but not too thick) beef stew. I think I found it. I was certainly impressed on my first attempt at making stew. I know, I am sure many of you are thinking “it’s not that hard, just throw some stuff in a pot with some broth and you got stew.” I don’t work that way, people. I need a recipe. Once I have success with it, then I can play around. Until then, I need exact instructions.

So all I had to buy were veggies, stew meat, and beef broth (but let’s be honest, I am pregnant, hungry, and cravings hit, so much more was actually bought). I started cooking it as soon as we got home because it had to cook for a while but it was worth the effort. It wasn’t hard, but there was quite a bit of chopping involved.

*My husband also added some cayenne pepper to his bowl for an extra kick and I do have to say that did help with the flavor, although I was happy with it the way it was. I will probably add some to the whole pot next time.
And, although it is hard to make stew look appetizing, I took a picture.

Overall, I was very impressed and the husband had 2 bowls, so that is always a good sign. It was just what I was wanting with no weird ingredients. I will definitely make it again and play around with the spices some more. It was still good the next day, which is always a bonus, but maybe a little thicker than I would have liked…reheating on the stove rather than microwave probably would have helped.

So, try it if you have had trouble finding a good stew…or share your favorite stew recipe with me! I am definitely open to trying more!

Old-Fashioned Beef Stew

Old-Fashioned Beef Stew


  • 1 -1 1/2 lb cubed beef stew meat *I used closer to 2 lbs
  • 1/2 cup flour *3/4 cup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 carrot, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery, with a few minced leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 pinch thyme
  • 3 1/2 cups beef broth *4 cups
  • 2 medium potatoes, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 onions, diced *1 onion
  • *I also added some more celery at this point as well and added salt and pepper to taste


  1. Put flour, salt and pepper in a large ziploc bag. I used a bowl with a lid--we didn't have big ziploc bags
  2. Heat oil over medium heat in a large dutch oven.
  3. Place meat in bag with the flour and shake until well coated.
  4. Shake off meat pieces and add them to the oil and stir until slightly browned, add remaining flour from the bag and the finely chopped onion.
  5. Stir until well browned.
  6. Add finely chopped carrot and next 4 ingredients.
  7. Cover and cook over low heat for 1 1/2 hours (stirring every 15 minutes).
  8. Add diced potatoes, carrots, and onions, cook for another 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender. It only took about 20 minutes until the potatoes were tender but I cut them pretty small
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Recipe – Mac-n-cheese

HI! I bet you were thinking this blog had just turned into Real {Cheap} Housewife Heather of Texas. Well, it hasn’t. I’ve had sick kids and a sick self in the last week. TODAY, I finally feel 65% better. Of course, by this afternoon might be a different story since I’ll try to take on the world and I’ll most likely be on death’s doorstep tonight. Clearly my house could benefit from our Seventh Generation giveaway! BUT since I can’t enter, maybe you should.

We celebrated my husband’s birthday last Friday (he’s older than me, btw!) and he requested a specific meal. He absolutely loves my mac-n-cheese. I use to make it all the time, but now I only make it for special occasions. It’s not exactly the most healthy part of a meal. Since I started making this from scratch, I’ve only bought the box stuff about 5 times, and that was typically for the kids’ lunch. Even then, the boys both turn their noses up at it. My daughter hasn’t learned to appreciate the goodness of my mac-n-cheese. But I digress because she will learn.

As The Pioneer Woman (I’m sure you’ve all heard of her) would say … The Cast of Characters

Prep time :: 20 minutes | Cook time :: 30 minutes | Serves :: 8

Whole Wheat elbow macaroni (12-13 oz is what I had on hand)
1/2 cup milk
3 TBsp butter (not margarine)
8 oz Velveeta
8 oz cream cheese (do not use fat free/low fat, it does not melt)
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup 2 different grated cheeses (I chose Colby Jack and Mozzarella)
2-3 slices of bread (I use whole wheat)

Oven preheated 400*
Follow directions on box of macaroni.
I normally cut the Velveeta and cream cheese into smaller cubes.
In a large sauce pan, melt the butter and stir in milk. Once the butter is melted, add in 6 oz of the Velveeta and 6oz of cream cheese. Set the rest back for later use. Add in sour cream and the grated cheeses. Keep stirring.

Once it seems thick and melted, add in macaroni. Your sauce should be stringy. Take a 8×8 square baking dish (not pan, think Pyrex or Corningware) and transfer the macaroni covered in sauce to the baking dish.

Once you have it all evened out in the baking dish, take the extra cream cheese and Velveeta and do a little “hide and seek” with it for a little special gooeyness in the middle. (see picture)

Top it off with some extra grated cheese and the sliced bread cut into cubes for a little crunch.

….and of course, I apparently forgot to get a finishing picture. :( I guess you’ll have to make it to know what it looks like. :)

Be sure to check out Whitney’s White Chicken Chili recipe and look at the beautiful chairs I’m totally stealing from Heather for my craft room.

Non-Texas BBQ? WHAT?

Who likes to eat good food? ME! (and the other girls, of course!) We’ve mentioned it plenty of times, we LOVE some good food. I not only like to eat it, but I love to cook it too. Before I met my husband, the only thing I could actually cook was lasagna. Its not an easy quick meal, but besides browning meat for tacos, its the only thing I could manage. I’ll be honest, I’ve burned quite a few grilled cheese sandwiches in my day. MANY! And I mistakenly told said husband, and he reminds me occasionally about it. However, almost 9 years of marriage, I can cook some pretty delicious meals. I have a mean mac-n-cheese that beats any that my husband has had, and he’s tried a lot of mac-n-cheese. There’s only been a handful of dishes I’ve made that he’s ever said “yeah, don’t make this again”.

Last week during meal planning I had to get out of my “meal rut”, but I always try to keep it healthy (I can safely say we’ve become a no beef family – ground turkey, lots of chicken, shrimp and the occasional pork). I found quite a few recipes to try. I always try at least one new recipe/meal a week if I can manage it. Luckily, my children have learned that they have to try what mommy makes and don’t throw a fit about it. AND luckily, they don’t turn down much food.

Source (picture and recipe):Recipe Girl

I love making roasts/pulled anything. I also love to use my crockpot, but make note, you do not need your crockpot for this pulled pork. This really hit the spot, but if you don’t care for spicy, hold back on the spices. Use a little less. I had 2 children with tears and grabbing their tongues, but mind you, they still ate it. I will also say that I didn’t make the biscuits. I am not a “baker”, so we just used wheat hamburger buns. They worked just as good. I paired it with sweet potato fries, always a win in our house.

**If you’re on Weight Watchers, the points for you are at the bottom. You’re welcome. :)

Alabama Pulled Pork Sandwiches with White BBQ sauce

1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon coarsely ground fresh pepper
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
dash of salt

1 1/4 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed cooked sweet potato (about 3/4 pound)
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
2/3 cup fat-free milk


1. Prepare sauce: Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and chill.

2. Prepare pork: Cut pork in half lengthwise; cut crosswise into 2 1/2-inch chunks. Combine apple cider vinegar and remaining pork ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Add pork to pan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until tender. Remove pork from cooking liquid; shred with 2 forks. Place pork in a serving dish; pour cooking liquid over pork.

3. Prepare biscuits: Preheat oven to 425°F. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Combine potato, sugar, butter and milk; stir well. Pour over dry ingredients; stir until a soft dough forms (dough will feel sticky). Turn dough out onto a floured surface; knead lightly 5 to 6 times. Roll dough into a 10-inch circle; cut 24 biscuits with a floured 2-inch biscuit cutter. You’ll need to cut and then re-roll scraps and cut again. Place biscuits on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove biscuits from pan; cool on a wire rack.

4. To assemble sandwiches, place pork and a dollop of the white barbecue sauce in between two biscuits.

Nutritional Information per serving:
Serving size: 2 biscuits, 1/4 cup pork, 2 1/2 teaspoons sauce
Calories per serving: 235
Fat per serving: 7.5g
Saturated Fat per serving: 2.75g
Sugar per serving: 8g
Fiber per serving: 1.5g
Protein per serving: 13g
Cholesterol per serving: 42mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 29g
WW POINTS per serving:
Points Plus Program: 6 Old Points Program: 5.5
This would be a great meal to include if you’re participating in the 50 Days of Fitness with Brittaney, Christie and I.
BTW, just so you appreciate this meal a little more – I typed this whole blog post while watching my beloved Texas Rangers. Again, you’re welcome.