Favorite Recipes

Italian Sausage Bar-B-Q Pasta

Posted on May 9, 2015. Filed under: Favorite Recipes |

The other night we fixed a pasta dish for the church Care Group and had quite a bit of whole wheat, penne pasta leftover. In that dish we used some cubed butternut squash of which we had a lot leftover. Last weekend I grilled so we also had a few Johnsonville Hot Italian Sausages in the fridge http://www.johnsonville.com/lines/italian.html. Now, what to do with some of these leftovers?

I placed about a teaspoon of butter in a frying pan and started melting it after dicing a small jalapeno, a bit of onion, and some bell pepper and 1 clove of garlic. I placed the cubed butternut squash in the pan first as it would take the longest to cook, stirring it once in a while for about 5 minutes, then tossed in the other veggies. While those cooked I sliced my grilled Johnsonville Sausage up then cut the slices in half giving me about 25 pieces. I added some Old Bay seasoning to the veggies, stirred that in well, then added the chopped up sausage.

While the meat and veggies finished up I heated a bowl of the leftover penne pasta for a minute in the microwave (I had already added some Bull’s Eye Bar-B-Q sauce and stirred it in). I didn’t drown the pasta in the Bar B Q sauce, but probably 2-3 tablespoons.

I dumped the bowl of pasta and sauce on a plate, added the meat and veggies from the frying pan and stirred it up well.

This was fantastic eating!

While I have done something like this before a time or two, I believe what set this one apart from past experiments was the cubed butternut squash. If you want a milder dish, go with the Johnsonville Mild Italian Sausage or the Sweet and leave out the jalapeno. You could easily add a bit of carrots, sweet potatoes and celery. The bottom line is that this is a great blending of Italian and Texian flavors.

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Sausage-Egg-Tater Tot Wrap

Posted on March 4, 2015. Filed under: Favorite Recipes |

We love Alexia Brand sweet potato fries and puffs http://www.alexiafoods.com/products/sweet-potato-fries/sweet-potato-puffs  ! We eat them frequently with grilled steak or salmon, but sometimes, if I fix the whole bag, we have some left. The leftover puffs/fries tend to stay as orphans in the fridge too long, and, face it, warmed up leftover fries are just not the best even if they are Alexia. So the other night I fixed a bag of Alexia Sweet Potato Puffs to go with some grilled rib-eyes and, sure enough, we had some leftovers. They sat in the fridge for a few days until this morning when I decided to try something different.

I had pre-sliced a one pound tube of Owens breakfast sausage a couple of days ago into 6 slices of about 1/6th lb. ea. I pulled out one patty and set it in the frying pan then I commenced chopping and slicing the veggies I wanted: 3 cloves of garlic, 1/4 of a red onion, 1/2 of large jalapeno, and a handful of fresh spinach.

When the sausage patty was about half done I started breaking it up into little crumbles, then I added the onions, jalapeno and garlic. I stirred it around a bit to cover it in the sausage drippings and then added Tajin classic seasoning. When the veggies and sausage were about done I stirred in the chopped spinach, waited a couple of minutes then added the 3 extra large eggs I had stirred up in a cup with about 1/4 cup of milk mixed in.

When the eggs, sausage and veggie mixture was about done I popped a couple of Central Market Whole Wheat tortillas in the microwave with about 15-16 of the Alexia puffs on top, warming them up for about 30 sec.

I pulled the tortillas out, divided the puffs up evenly, added a handful of shredded cheese to each tortilla, and scooped out the egg mixture onto the cheese and puffs. I added ketchup and Tabasco sauce to mine and commenced eating.


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Sweet Potato Waffle Sandwich

Posted on January 18, 2015. Filed under: Favorite Recipes |

This is now one of my favorite breakfast sandwiches, but I do not fix it very often at all because it does involve Maple Syrup! But…I suppose you can use some kind of artificial, sugar free, imitation syrup if you want to.


Breakfast sausage patty, I use 1/6th of a pound. I open the tube and cut six equal sized patties, wrap them in wax paper and store the ones I don’t use in a plastic bag and then use them the rest of the week, one at a time. You can obviously cook them all at the same time and just warm them up in the microwave but then you would have to fry the veggies listed below in something else like butter or coconut oil. I place the patty in my small frying pan with the heat on medium while I slice up the veggies and mix up the egg.

Sweet potato small to medium, I slice 2-3 thin slices from the middle of the potato, enough so that you can cover your waffle. When one side of the sausage patty is done and you flip it, there should be enough grease in the pan to now place your sweet ‘taters in the pan with the sausage

Sweet Onion slice through the middle of a Walla Walla, Vidalia, Texas 1015, or a Mayan Sweet. I like my onion fairly thick, a bit less than 1/4 inch. You can chop them up if you want, but if you leave the slice whole you can get it done to perfection where there is just a hint of crunch still in the onion. When you remove the sausage patty you place the onion in the pan and turn the sweet ‘taters over.

Egg I like using the Jumbo or Extra Large. I will crack it open and place into a cup, stir it up good and add a teaspoon of milk and stir again. I will flip the onion over by this point and remove the sweet potatoes before they get crispy (we want soft sweet potatoes!)

When the onion is done I pour the egg into the pan and season with salt and pepper.

While the egg fries I put the Kashi whole grain waffles into the toaster, pour just a couple of tablespoons of Maple Syrup into a cup and warm for 5-6 seconds in the microwave and get the slice of cheese ready.

Up pops the toaster, I remove the two waffles, turn the fire off the egg, pour the syrup over the two waffles, scrape the onions onto one waffle, cover that with the cheese slice (I use a variety of deli cheeses, choose your own favorite) place the hot egg on top of the cheese. I place the sweet potato slices on the other waffle and cover that with the sausage. Slap the two waffles together and wrap in some foil (this is a very messy and delicate sandwich; the foil holds it together).

Enjoy! (You will need to be hosed off when you are done!)

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Southwestern Chicken Corn Chowder

Posted on March 8, 2012. Filed under: Favorite Recipes |

One of my favorite Campbell’s Soups is the Chicken Corn Chowder, http://www.campbellsoup.com/Products/Chunky/All/2431  so one day recently I decided I should try to make it from scratch. Yesterday I did it, and love the result.

I started by boiling a whole chicken (well, … no feathers), then de-boning the bird and reserving about a cup of the broth. I had seasoned the water and the bird with some Poultry Seasoning, Black Pepper, Chipotle Pepper, Garlic powder, and Salt. No measurements, just dumped some in the pot. My best guess would be about a tsp of each. I boiled the bird for about 45 minutes, I did not want the meat to fall off the bone and be all stringy; I wanted chunks of chicken! That was on Tuesday.

On Wednesday I got a dutch oven on the stove and started with melting a stick of margerine slowly, while I chopped the 6 carrots and 3 stalks of celery (complete with leaves). I tossed the carrots in the now boiling margerine first, since they take the longest to cook, then the celery a few minutes later. Next I chopped up 1 green and 1 red bell pepper, one rather large (and hot!) jalapeno, and added them to the simmering margerine and veggies. I did the same with a zucchini and 3 small onions. Next I added a cup of barley flour and stirred it all in with the margerine and veggies.

I now added the milk. The recipes I had consulted all called for half-and-half or straight up cream, but I am interested in cutting calories where I can, so I used low-fat milk, because the next ingredient would make up for the lack of calories- Velveeta Cheese. I used about a half brick of it, chopped up and melted (for the most part) in the microwave, then dumped rather unceremoniously into the pot.

I next added a whole bag (1lb) of frozen corn. Next I got out my bag of potatoes and began washing them and chopped one when I noticed a problem. All of the red skinned potatoes in the 5lb. bag were green. Not good. Not a one of them was good, so I threw out the whole bag. This is the third time in about a year this has happened and from two different grocery stores. The green potatoes have a toxin in them, due to being exposed to sunlight too soon, that won’t kill ya, but can give you some stomach problems. Oh well.

Now came the spices: I added a bunch of salt (maybe 2 tsps?), black pepper, cumin, garlic powder (I was too rushed to mince up my own garlic), chipotle pepper and powdered oregano. I did not measure anything sooo…good luck.

Next came the chicken and the broth. I piled it all on top then slowly stirred it all in. Finally, I added 2 cans of diced tomatoes and 1 can of black beans (rinsed).

The obvious chowder fail here is the lack of potatoes…but…the end result was a delicious, cheesey, spicy delightful stew/soup/chowder.

Experiment with the amount of milk, flour, cheese and seasonings to suit your taste and to achieve the consistency desired. We like things a tad bit hot-n-spicy at the Walker house. I think the chowder could have been a bit thicker, but the potatoes were supposed to do that as my plan was to mash some and cube some. But, again, we were very pleased with the results as is.


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Posted on August 28, 2011. Filed under: Favorite Recipes |

1Corinthians 10:31 “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

My mother used to cook goulash once in a while when I was growing up, but I do not have her recipe. So I did some studying at Allrecipes.com and looked at several different recipes for Hungarian Goulash, mixed and matched them and added a few things of my own and came up with a keeper. I’m not sure if what I came up with actually resembles real Hungarian Goulash or not…but it was sure tasty so here it goes:

I start with about 2 1/4 lbs of extra lean ground beef frying in a dutch oven.

While the ground beef is cooking  I start chopping my veggies. I begin with mincing most of a garlic bulb, 7-8 cloves.

I chopped up a couple of handfulls of baby carrots and a whole Red Bell pepper. I chopped up 3 celery stalks (and they were nice, dark green ones with plenty of leaves). Then I attacked 3 smallish Vidalia sweet onions.

By this time the meat was done (I had been flipping, cutting and stirring it in between chopping up the veggies) so I gradually added the veggies, carrots first (since they take a bit longer to cook), then the celery, red peppers, onion and garlic.

Next I start seasoning this mixture. Begin with about 1-2 teaspoons of salt,

1 teaspoon of black pepper

1 teaspoon of Marjoram

4-5 tablespoons of Paprika, the dominant spice in this dish

And I added a few dashes of cayenne pepper to make it extra spicy, but you can leave that out.

I added one stick of butter and melted that all around.

Then I added a can tomato soup and 1 can of diced tomatoes.

I added about 1/3 cup of barley flour and then a couple cups of water.

What you want is a thick, tomato based gravy with all these veggies, meat and spices mixed in.

Cook it down to the desired thickness and serve either on whole wheat egg noodles, whole wheat macaroni, or, you can do what most of the recipes called for, and cook about 5-6 mid sized potatoes, diced, in the mix. We chose the whole wheat egg noodles.

If you leave out the cayenne, you have a very nice, subtle dish with excellent, soft flavor. My added touch of cayenne gave it just a touch of heat.


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Southern Reuben Sandwich

Posted on June 18, 2011. Filed under: Favorite Recipes |

There are lots of variations on the Reuben sandwich (which happens to be one of my favorite sandwiches!) and this past week I created one of my own (however, after doing this on my own I did research it and found it is certainly not unique). It’s summertime in Fort Worth, Texas and the temps have been over 100 all week long, so I wanted a cold sandwich.

Reubens are supposed to be a hot sandwich with the meat and cheese heated up on the griddle/grill/frying pan and the bread toasted a bit too, but I wanted something cool and refreshing. I had the kraut in the fridge but I also had some coleslaw. I was out of Rye bread but I did have one lonely sesame seed hamburger bun left over from a cookout.

I toasted the bun, then spread on some mild horseradish sauce. I had mixed up a small bowl of coleslaw using the Hidden Valley Ranch dressing while the buns were toasting. I spiced up the slaw (which I buy in a bag at the store) with some radishes that I sliced up nice and thin. Now I dumped the slaw on the botton bun and added two thick slices of corned beef and two thin slices of swiss cheese and slapped the top bun on.

While admittedly this was not the low calorie version of a sandwich, it was filling and very tasty, instantly becoming a favorite. Later in the week I made another one and added some green onions to the mix.


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Pepperoni-Jack Sandwich

Posted on September 23, 2010. Filed under: Favorite Recipes |

I take sandwiches to work almost every day and occasionally come up with a sandwich that is above average. I have posted the recipes for several of my sandwiches on this blog, such as the spicy bacon and egg:


and my egg salad sandwich:


or my Reuben:


Today I created, quite by accident, what I will call my Pepperoni Jack Sandwich.

Two slices of double fiber wheat bread, toasted,  with Miracle Whip-Lite spread on both slices.

Two slices of pepper jack cheese, 1 rather large slice of roast beef, folded over, and three slices of Pepperoni (Sandwich sized).  The veggies are a generous portion of spinach, a large slice of tomato and, this is important, some Zesty Sweet Pickle chips from Vlasic.

The combination of the pepperoni, pepper jack cheese and the zesty sweet pickles absolutely rocked, the roast beef was thick sliced (#2) and gave it some substance, and the tomato made it all more juicy and the spinach gave an attractive look as well as making it more healthy. The roast beef was quite lean, but this sandwich is a tad high in fat because of the cheese and pepperoni.


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Chicken Enchiladas

Posted on July 14, 2010. Filed under: Favorite Recipes |

Our chicken enchiladas are a bit more complex than most, but the end result is well worth it. So if you are not afraid of a little bit more work than basic enchiladas require, here is the recipe:

Dawn and I boiled the whole chicken for an hour the night before,  seasoning it with about a tablespoon of Cajun Seasoning in the boiling water, and picked the meat off the bones, setting it aside for the next evening. Dawn cut the meat up into about 1/2 inch cubes.

I began the vegetable sauce mix the following evening by placing a stick of margarine in the pot; while the margarine was melting I cut up about 6-7 baby carrots into tiny cubes, diced a smallish red bell pepper, cut up about 6 green onions, diced one stalk of celery very small, minced one clove of garlic off of an elephant garlic- so that was a lot of garlic-, cut up one large jalapeno, and added these ingredients to the now popping margarine. I stirred and sauteed the veggies for just a few minutes and added two heaping tspns of barley flour, then about 3/4 cup of low fat milk, making it like a gravy.

Now for the canned stuff. I plopped in two cans of cream of chicken soup and one can of cream of mushroom. After stirring those in with the veggies and gravy mix I added 1 pint of Sour Cream Lite, and two cans of diced tomatoes.  Next came one small can of Green Chilies. I topped it off with one can of black beans, drained and washed.

I added about 1 1/2 cups of grated cheese and stirred that all in.

I really did not season the mix very much, using only about another tblspn of Cajun seasoning, a tsp of black pepper and Lawry’s Season Salt.

We added the chicken last and used all of it. This made enough for about 20 enchiladas. Half were made with whole wheat tortillas which are medium sized, and the others were plain flour tortillas of the burrito size.

As Dawn made the enchiladas she reserved enough of the sauce/chicken mix to drizzle it on top of the enchiladas along with sprinkling some of the grated cheese. Placed in a Pam sprayed baking dish and cake pans, we baked for just 15-20 minutes.

We served it with our spanish rice and queso (see recipes elsewhere in this blog) and….they were magnificent. Some of the carrots and celery were still just a tad bit crunchy which added a little bit of texture to the normally soft enchiladas. They were mild, not hot, as I made them to give some away at church. (But the Spanish Rice and Queso were both a little bit warm).

Things I did not add, but kinda-sorta wished I did add: mushrooms and black olives, more jalapeno and some cayenne pepper. (Can you believe it? I actually cooked something without Cayenne?)

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Italian 4 Grain Pilaf

Posted on July 2, 2010. Filed under: Favorite Recipes |

My family loves the Spanish Rice that I have been making for years, but today I wanted to experiment with that concept and came up with an Italian 4 Grain Pilaf that is a new favorite. I can no longer use straight rice, and we always use whole grain brown rice, due to my diabetes, so I use diabetic friendly grains like Groats, Barley, and Rye, with a little bit of Brown Rice mixed in.

Here is the recipe I came up with for the Italian 4 Grain Pilaf, which we enjoyed with a baked Cod and shrimp dinner.

First, I cut up the veggies:

I diced up about 5-6 baby carrots so that I had about 2/3 cup.

I diced and sliced about 2 cups of Kale.

1/2 of a   small Vidalia Sweet Onion, diced.

4 small cloves of Garlic minced.

I placed 1 stick of margarine into the big frying pan and got it melted and just starting to boil then threw in all the veggies to saute’. While the veggies were doing their thing, I gathered about 1/2 a cup each of Brown Rice, Rye, Groats and Barley and dumped that all in the frying pan with the veggies. I let that all cook up for a while, trying to brown the grain a bit, while I prepared some other things.

After about 10 min. of browning and stirring I added about 1/2 cup of frozen peas to the mix just for fun.

Next I seasoned the grain and veggies with1 teaspoon each of Thyme, Oregano, Worcestershire Sauce, and Soy Sauce. I sprinkled in just a tad bit of Cayenne Pepper, maybe  1/4 tsp. and the same of salt.

Next comes two cans of Chicken Broth, about 4 cups, and about 1 more cup of water (the extra water is really for cooking the Rye which is more chewy than the other grains and just plain needs more water and cooking).

I cooked it on the stove for about 1 hour.

The result was wonderful!

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Seafood Casserole: Scallops

Posted on May 1, 2010. Filed under: Favorite Recipes |

With the huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, some of the finest seafood fisheries in the world are threatened. I have had a bag of frozen scallops in the freezer for a while and decided I better use them now and buy some more before they get scarce. Here is a quick and easy casserole I came up with.

1 lb Scallops

1 box whole wheat macaroni

1 medium red onion

5-6 cloves of fresh garlic

a handful of baby carrots

several stalks of fresh kale

4-5 portobella mushrooms

2 small zucchini squash

a cup each of frozen corn, peas and green beans

2 jars of alfredo sauce

I gathered all my veggies and started the water heating in the big 5 quart sauce pan. I had previously taken the scallops out of the freezer to thaw.

After chopping all the veggies up I poured them gradually into a frying pan with a stick of butter melting in it and sauteed them while cooking the macaroni, scallops and frozen veggies.

When the macaroni mix was done I drained off the excess water through the collander and added the sauteed veggies. I seasoned with the pepper, cajun seasoning and oregano then added the two jars of alfredo sauce and stirred it all together.

I did not measure any of the seasonings but think I used about a teaspoon of each. It could have used a bit more perhaps.

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