Santa Fe Soup

December 20, 2010

This soup is super easy and SO delicious! If you like beans you’ll love this soup! It’s one of my favorites. Enjoy.

Santa Fe Soup

1 14 oz can black beans, rinsed
1 14 oz can navy beans, rinsed
1 14 oz can mild chili beans with liquid (kidney beans could be substituted here-be sure to rinse)
1 14 oz can whole kernel corn, drained
1 28 oz can tomato sauce
1 small can diced tomatoes with chilies (like Rotel)
1 medium onion, diced
1-1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 packet original taco seasoning
1 packet Ranch seasoning mix

Begin by sauteing diced onions in a little oil until just translucent. Add ground beef and cook until brown. Drain off excess fat. Into a crock pot or stock pot add all ingredients and stir together. Add 1 cup of water or beef broth to thin soup if needed. Cook on low in the crock pot 6-8 hours or simmer 1 1/2-2 hours on the stove.

Serve with shredded cheese, tortilla chips and sour cream.

*For a ligher version, try using shredded chicken or ground turkey.


Steak with Feta

April 14, 2010


After a long hiatus, I have a blog entry. Yes, I am still cooking but not blogging about it so much lately. But I felt I needed to blog about this! My husband got a new grill a couple months ago and now that the weather is warming up, we’re finally able to use it. I had bookmarked this recipe a while back and decided to give it a try a couple days ago. It was really good and a bit different that just any old grilled steak. We both enjoyed it! The feta gives the steak a nice bite.

Steak with Feta

Greek Marinade (below)
2 pound beef boneless sirloin steak, about 1 inch thick (I used filets)
2 medium red onions, cut into 1/2-inch slices (I omitted)
1 package (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
Chopped fresh parsley, if desired

In shallow glass or plastic dish or resealable plastic food storage bag, make Greek Marinade. Pierce beef with fork several times on both sides. Add beef and onions to marinade; turn to coat. Cover dish or seal bag and refrigerate, turning beef occasionally, at least 8 hours but no longer than 24 hours.

Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat. Remove beef from marinade; reserve marinade.

Cover and grill beef and onions over medium heat 15 to 20 minutes for medium beef doneness, brushing occasionally with marinade and turning once. Discard remaining marinade.

Cut beef across grain into thin slices. Sprinkle beef with feta and parsley; serve with onion slices.

Greek Marinade

1/2 cup dry red wine or beef broth
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

In small bowl, mix all ingredients. About 3/4 cups.

Betty Crocker Grilling Made Easy, p. 54

Sunday was a nasty, rainy, windy day here. It always seems to  be raining or really cold on my days off lately. We couldn’t get out and do much so I decided to try out this new recipe for dinner. I didn’t want the day to be a total loss and what better thing to do when the weather is too bad to go out but cook! This was the perfect dinner for a rainy day in. It’s a super easy dish and very hearty!


Steak Tips with Peppered Mushroom Gravy

  • 2  cups  uncooked egg noodles
  • Cooking spray
  • 1  pound  top sirloin steak, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1  tablespoon  butter
  • 2  tablespoons  finely chopped shallots
  • 1  (8-ounce) package presliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1  teaspoon  minced garlic
  • 1  tablespoon  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3  tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2  cups  fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
  • 1/2  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 3  fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1  teaspoon  fresh thyme leaves (optional)
  • 1. Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

    2. While noodles cook, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add steak; sauté 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove from pan; cover.

    3. Melt butter in pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and mushrooms; sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Stir in soy sauce. Sprinkle flour over mushroom mixture; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add broth, stirring constantly. Add pepper, salt, and thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes or until thickened. Return beef to pan; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Discard thyme sprigs. Garnish with thyme leaves, if desired.

    Source: Cooking Light


    Here’s another yummy variation on the traditional burger. My husband has been wanting to make a feta stuffed burger for a while so we decided tonight to try it out. I had some ciabatta rolls left over from earlier this week so we toasted them up and they were the perfect bun for this burger. Give it a try. It was great!

    Feta Stuffed Burgers with Pesto

    1 lb ground beef chuck
    1/2 tsp italian seasoning
    1/4 cup bread crumbs
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    1 garlic clove, minced
    crumbled feta cheese
    prepared pesto

    Combine all ingredients except the feta and pesto. Form a thin patty with the ground beef. Place a small amount of feta in the center of the patty. Form another thin patty and place on top. Press together to seal the feta inside the meat. Grill until done, about 15 minutes. Serve on toasted ciabatta rolls with pesto.  

    Makes 4 burgers

    Backyard Beer Burgers

    July 27, 2009


    It’s just about impossible to get my husband to cook, as I’ve stated many times on this blog. It’s impossible that is unless it involves the grill. He always jumps at the chance to grill. That’s why for Christmas last year I got him a couple of grilling cookbooks hoping he would look through them and become inspired to pick out his own recipe to make. I’ve been pestering him to go through the cookbooks and pick something out and finally he did. How did I know it would be a burger? He loves to grill burgers. So I bought all the ingredients needed to make these yesterday and he grilled them for dinner last night. Somehow I still managed to put them together though. Not sure how that happened but anyway, they turned out pretty tasty. I think we’ll be experimenting with more burger flavor combinations this summer.

    Backyard Beer Burgers

    1 1/2 lbs lean (at least 80%) ground beef
    1 small onion, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
    1/4 cup regular or nonalcoholic beer
    1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    6 rye or whole wheat hamburger buns, split (use any kind of bun you like)
    Ketchup, if desired
    Pickle planks, if desired

    1. Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat.

    2. In medium bowl, mix all ingredients except buns, ketchup and pickeles. Shape mixture into 6 patties, about 3/4 inch thick.

    3. Cover and grill patties over medium heat 13 to 15 minutes, turning once, until meat thermometer inserted in center reads 160 F and patties are no longer pink in center. Add buns, cut side down, for last 4 minutes of grilling or until toasted. Serve burgers in buns with ketchup and pickles.

    Betty Crocker Grilling Made Easy, p. 46

    *We also added cheddar cheese to the center of the burgers before grilling.

    I’m a slacker. I never have time to participate in all the blog events that I would like to. I am really envious of everyone that participates in multiple blog events, but by the time I get home from work I barely have time to cook dinner and the occasional dessert. That’s why I’ve sort of fallen off the wagon with the Tasty Tools blog event that Joelen hosts every month. I thought I wasn’t going to make it this month either but luckily, I remembered I had planned on making these beef kabobs so I figured I could highlight this month’s tool in this recipe.

    And the tool of the month is…the pastry and basting brush! What an awesome and often overlooked tool. I use mine all the time and most of the time I wish I had two because it always seems to be in the dishwasher when I need it. Yes, I said dishwasher. I know with most pastry brushes you can’t put them in the dishwasher, but that’s another reason I love mine. I have the chef’s silicone basting brush made by Pampered Chef. I seriously love this thing. It’s heat resistant so you don’t have to worry about it melting should you accidently touch your grill or a hot pan with it. It resists stains and doesn’t retain odors. Another little feature that is simple but very helpful is the fact that it has a little hook on the back so you can rest it on the side of your bowl and it won’t slide down into whatever’s in the bowl. I use it for basting and barbecuing meats and also for brushing delicate pastries with egg wash or butter. I think it’s a great and versatile tool that everyone should have in their kitchen.

    BBQ Beef Kabobs

    1/2 lb boneless beef sirloin steak, 1″ thick, cut into 1″ cubes

    2 Tbsp vegetable oil

    2 cloves garlic, minced

    1 Tbsp of your favorite grill seasoning

    2 tsp worcestershire sauce

    1/2 an onion, cut into 1″ pieces

    barbecue sauce for basting (use your favorite flavor)

    In a bowl combine the sirloin, onion, grill seasoning, vegetable oil, garlic and worcestershire sauce. Toss to coat the meat and onions. Cover and refrigerate at least 4-6 hours. Remove from the refrigerator about 20 minutes before grilling. Skewer the meat and onions on soaked wooden skewers (to prevent burning on the grill). Place the kabobs on a hot grill or grill pan. Once the outside of the meat begins to show grill marks, brush with your favorite barbecue sauce. Grill until the meat reaches desired doneness.

    Serves 2


    Summertime Grillin’

    June 9, 2008

    It is very evident by the suffocating heat and humidity that Summer is upon us. I think somehow Spring just passed us by here in Alabama. And with this hot weather comes the smell of grills firing up all around my neighborhood. Sure there is something wonderful about grilled food that makes you feel more relaxed like you’re having a back yard party even if it’s just a week night, but let’s face it, it’s just about too darn hot to cook inside! Lately I’ve been dreading turning on my oven. By the time I get dinner done, I’m sweaty and have to cool down before I can even eat. So needless to say you are probably going to be seeing more grilled foods in my blog for a while.

    Now whenever I ask what my husband what he wants to grill he will most always say “burgers”. The guy loves some burgers. In the evenings when we walk our dogs around our neighborhood if he smells the smoke of grill he will always say “we need to grill burgers soon”. Now I get tired of plain old burgers. I can think of tons of other things that I would love on the grill. But what can I say, he has simple tastes. So tonight I decided we would grill burgers but I wanted to change them up a bit from my regular recipe. So I threw some ingredients together and what came out was a super moist, smoky, and delicious burger. You should definitely give this one a try if you’re looking to change up your regular burger recipe.

    *I also think bacon would be awesome on these burgers.

    Barbecue Burgers

    1 1/4-1 1/2 lb ground beef or chuck

    1/4 cup barbecue sauce plus more for brushing the tops of the burgers (I used honey bbq because that’s what I had)

    2 cloves garlic, minced (3 cloves if they’re small)

    1 tsp worcestershire sauce

    1/3 cup bread crumbs

    1 tsp salt

    1 tsp ground black pepper


    *Sliced sharp cheddar cheese

    Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Form into 6 patties. Place on a hot grill or grill pan and cook until desired doneness. Brush the tops of the burgers with the extra barbecue sauce once they’re done. Top with the sharp cheddar and remove from the grill. Place the buns on the grill and allow them to toast for about 5 minutes or so.

    Carmelized Onions and Mushrooms

    1 yellow or sweet onion, sliced into thin strips

    2 cups mushrooms, cleaned and chopped into 1/2″ chunks

    1 tsp salt

    1 tsp ground black pepper

    1/2 tsp sugar

    2 Tbsp butter

    2-3 Tbsp beef broth or water

    Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions to the pan and toss to coat with the butter. Add the salt, pepper, and sugar and toss again. Cover and allow to cook down about 5-7 minutes or until you start to see a light brown coloring on the onions. Add the mushrooms in and stir together with the onions. Cover and allow to cook another 5 minutes. Add the broth or water to deglaze the pan and get all the brown bits off the bottom. Serve on top of the barbecue burgers.

    It’s funny how you see recipes you want to try and then sometimes just forget about them. That is the case with this recipe. I saw it several months ago and thought it looked great and put it on my list to try. Somehow it got pushed further and further down the list until I had almost forgotten about it. Then I saw the episode of Everyday Italian last week where Giada makes this dish and remembered saving it to try. So I decided I would put it on the menu for the week. It turned out pretty well. The roast was a little tough, but I thought the sauce was great! I really enjoyed it with my pasta. I’m not sure if I would make the recipe again as it is. I will be saving the sauce recipe though. It’s slightly spicy and there’s a subtle bite from the red wine vinegar that I thought was so good with the roasted tomato flavor.

    Roast Beef with Spicy Parsley Tomato Sauce

    Beef Roast:

    1 (2 to 2 1/2-pound) sirloin tip or chuck beef roast
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    4 Roma tomatoes, cut in 1/2
    2 teaspoons herbs de Provence
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Spicy Parsley Tomato Sauce:

    1 1/2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley
    2 garlic cloves
    1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
    3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

    To make the beef roast, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.Season the beef with salt and pepper. Season the tomatoes with salt, pepper, and herbs de Provence.

    Place a medium, heavy roasting pan or Dutch oven over high heat. Heat the olive oil. Sear the beef over high heat on all sides. Turn off heat. Place the seasoned tomatoes around the seared beef and place the pan in the oven. Roast until a meat thermometer reads 130 degrees F. for medium rare, 135 for medium, about 30 to 40 minutes. Take the roast out of the oven, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. The internal temperature of the meat should rise 5 degrees F more and the juices will redistribute into the roast.

    To make the sauce, place the parsley and garlic in a food processor and pulse until the parsley is finely chopped. Add the red pepper flakes, salt, red wine vinegar and the roasted tomatoes from the beef pan and process until pureed. Add the olive oil in a steady stream with the machine running.

    To serve, slice the roast and place on a serving platter. Drizzle a little sauce over the meat. Serve the remaining sauce in a small bowl alongside.

    Basic Burger

    October 31, 2007

    Cold weather is fast approaching so there won’t be much grilling going on for the next few months. It’s still fairly decent weather out, so we can still get a few more uses out of the grill this year. I asked my husband last week to pick two things he wanted for dinner this week. One was burgers and the other, his favorite pasta. So tonight he fired up the grill and I made my basic burger recipe. Very easy and tasty and a nice farewell to summer.

    My Basic Burger

    1 1/4 lb lean ground beef
    1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
    5-6 dashes worcestershire sauce
    2 tsp Paula Deen’s Steak and Prime Rib Rub (a mixture of salt, garlic powder, and smoke flavorings)-goes well with burgers, too

    Combine all ingredients in a bowl until well mixed. Form into patties.
    Makes 4 large burgers.

    Taco Salad Bowls

    September 5, 2007

    Tonight’s dinner needed to be simple. We had some errands to run after work so I thought I’d keep dinner short and sweet. Or I guess I should say spicy! Taco salad is always a fast and yummy meal. Typically I serve crumbled tortilla chips on top of the salad greens, spicy taco meat, and cheese but tonight I made it a little different. I’ve been seeing these taco bowls on lots of food blogs lately and it occurred to me that I had never made it that way before. I think the crunchy tortilla bowl makes this common salad even better. We had this tonight with mexican rice.

    Taco Salad Bowls

    1/2 lb lean ground beef or turkey
    2 cups lettuce or enough for 2 salads
    1/2 cup chopped tomato (I used sliced grape tomatoes)
    1/2 onion, finely chopped
    1/2 cup cheddar or mexican cheese
    taco seasoning (recipe to follow)
    1/2 cup water or beef broth
    2 10″ tortillas
    cooking spray

    Taco Seasoning

    1 Tbsp chili powder
    1/4 tsp garlic powder
    1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
    1 1/2 tsp cumin
    salt and pepper (about 1/2 tsp each)

    Combine all ingredients.

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make two balls out of aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. (You could also use ramekins.) Place tortillas over aluminum foil balls and spray with cooking spray. These should bake for about 10 min or until brown. Meanwhile, heat a skillet on the stove. Add chopped onion and ground beef. Cook until beef is done and drain. Add taco seasoning and 1/2 cup water or beef broth. Stir to combine. Let this cook another couple minutes to heat through. Place salad greens in the taco shell. Top with beef, cheese, tomatoes and all your favorite toppings. Other toppings that would be good are black beans, corn, salsa, or sour cream.