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Thursday, June 24, 2021

Copy Cat El Chico Beef, Cheese, Onion Enchiladas with Copy Cat Mexico Chiquito Hot Sauce

 Must do these tried and true famous recipes for the best Tex/Mex solutions on your Family Mexican Nights. You don't do a Family Mexican Night! What's wrong with you!?!? Well no judgement here, but it's high time you started. Family Mexican Nights are ALWAYS special at our home.

Famous In Arkansas Copy Cat Mexico Chiquito Hot Sauce

1 large can of peeled whole tomatoes, juice and all, 1 whole jalapeno pepper, seeds and all, 4 peeled pods of garlic, crushed, 1 teaspoon, or salt to taste. All in the blender, careful not to liquefy, chop it all up! Voila, Famous Copy Cat Mexico Chiquito Hot Sauce 

Copy Cat El Chico Beef, Cheese, Onion Enchiladas & Chili Gravy

Beef Chili Gravy:  1/2 lb ground beef, 3 T oil, 1/4 c flour, 1/2 ts pepper, 1 ts salt, 1 1/2 ts garlic powder, 2 ts ground cumin, 1/2 ts ground oregano, 2 tbl chili powder, 2 c chicken broth

Brown 1/2 pound of ground beef in skillet, drain, and set aside. Heat oil in separate skillet over medium heat. Add flour and continue stirring for 3-4 minutes, or until light brown.  Add remaining dry ingredients. Add chicken broth and stir till thickens. Set on low and simmer. Add more broth if it gets too thick.

Cheese Enchiladas:  Some oil, 8 corn tortillas (soft), 4 c cheddar cheese, shredded, 1 medium onion, diced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Pour some oil in small skillet, heat tortillas one at a time for approximately 30 seconds to soften, NOT crisp. Lay on paper towel. Put some of the Beef Chili Gravy in the bottom of a sprayed 8x8 inch baking pan. Fill some cheese and onion into each tortilla, roll up and place seam-side down in baking pan, Pour remaining Beef Chili Gravy over the enchiladas and top with some of the shredded cheese, and sprinkle with some of the onions. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes until gravy and cheese are melted.

 Serve hot.

Homemade Fried Corn Tortillas

1 package of soft corn tortillas, vegetable oil for frying, salt

Cut the tortillas into fourths, fry and turn frequently in a Fry Daddy Presto Cooker for approximately 2 minutes. Too bad if you don't have one, I've had mine for many, many years and have no idea if they're still around. Google it. Drain the hot tortillas on paper towel and sprinkle with a bit of salt.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Cheater's Guide Lasagna Feast

 Classic lasagna is such an easy dish to prepare even if you don't use the cheater's guide that follows.  It tastes like a million bucks whatever you do...but, you must use the finest of ingredients. It's the perfect company dish and with the best of wine, you will be considered a saint of a hostess when you have your next dinner party. However this being said, I'm positive you have been making this dish all wrong!!!

To begin with, the classic lasagna dish is made with a fancy Béchamel sauce or in common layman's term, a basic white sauce made from butter, flour, and milk. Betcha been using a ricotta or a cottage cheese mixture. Well, stop it. Simply make the white sauce. Now, you can cheat on the next step. For the authentic red sauce you can make your own or use Newman's Sockarooni Sauce because it's fabulous, cheap, and proceeds go 100% toward his charity. Whatta guy! You cannot go wrong with a Paul Newman sauce. Next, sauté some bitesize veggies in olive oil such as onion, bell pepper, carrots, and zucchini, add the best of ground round, garlic powder, salt, pepper, basil, and oregano. Brown till done, then  throw in the Sockarooni sauce and you're almost there!

Ok, now for the assembly. Serious stuff here. Grab the best sliced and grated mozzarella and parmesan cheese you can afford, your Béchamel sauce, red meat sauce mixture, no boil noodles and begin. Spray a 9x13 inch lasagna pan (if you haven't already, go buy a real lasagna pan because life's too short not to have a REAL lasagna pan), layer red meat sauce, then add the noodles, next top with Béchamel sauce, red meat sauce, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, and do it all over again. Top row should have noodles, red meat sauce,  sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Cover tightly in foil, bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, uncover and bake for another 5 minutes. Let it rest before cutting.  Serve with a simple salad of marinated tomatoes, bell peppers, red onion, oregano, basil, parmesan cheese, and (another excellent cheat) Olive Garden Salad Dressing you can get at Dollar General. If you really want to show off, add a chopped avocado. Finally, serve this feast with those ooey, gooey, buttery garlic New York Bread Sticks from the frozen section at your friendly neighborhood grocer. They are to Di for. Now, for the crowning glory (which actually makes it all spectacular). Choose a wonderful ripe, juicy red wine. or a Pinot Noir.  Spend a little money on this and buy enough for everyone to have a great Cheater's Lasagna Feast soon. Oh, and for dessert, cheat and simply serve sherbet (in your best stemmed dessert crystal glassware (time to buy some if you don't have any). 

Friday, December 18, 2020

Christmas Cookies

I usually bake about six varieties of homemade cookies each Christmas including sugar cookies, brownies, chocolate chip, oatmeal, peanut butter, and snowball cookies. Yummy for just the basic stuff! Tired of trying new recipes and am enjoy going back to the basics to perfect my goodies. But...
This year I’m practicing minimalism and I’m not baking any cookies. I think the Grinch came to visit. 

I was having lunch recently at the 
Downtown Cafe. I really enjoy eating there. They have great food, service, and desserts. In fact, I got these lusciously coated snowball cookies baked as crescent moon cookies. Wonderful little crescent moon, bite size cookies. This whole package, filled with many moons was only $4.99. I also had the eggplant parmigiana, side of spaghetti, tossed salad, garlic bread, and fried calamari with homemade marinara sauce. Fantastic food and huge servings. I always pack up half and eat the rest when my tummy is not so full. 

So if you’re tired of holiday baking and want to just be waited on, you must visit this cozy little place if you’re ever in Lavonia.They do have other Downtown Cafes scattered all over Georgia. Nice!!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

An Our Town Stew By Richard Allin

Today is a perfect, chilly, lazy day to make my favorite Our Town Stew by Richard Allin of the Arkansas Gazette RIP. Mr. Allin knew exactly how to prepare a precise stew in a slow stovetop, no Crock Pot allowed manner. Check the recipe out in our town’s favorite cookbook, Little Rock Cooks. Of course, I’ve had to add a few items of my own , but the flavor is in the stew and that’s what one should focus on...

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Di’s Kitchen Serving Chili and Cornbread

16° in Little Rock. Snow and ice everywhere. No way out. Stuck at the house. What to do...

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Secret To A Perfect Italian Cream Cake...Family Tradition

The secret to my family's Southern classic cream cake is to FOLD the beaten egg whites in GENTLY. This makes a most delightful moist and scrumptious cake. Have a happy holiday! 2015

How To Make Italian Cream Cake...

  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 5 whole Eggs, Separated
  • 3 teaspoons Vanilla
  • 1 cup Coconut 
  • 2 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • 2 packages (8 Oz) Cream Cheese
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • 1 package 2 Lb Powdered Sugar
  • 1 cup Chopped Arkansas Pecans
  • 1 cup Sweetened, Flaked Coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans.

Beat egg whites until stiff. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together butter, oil, and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg yolks, vanilla, and coconut.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and baking powder.

Alternate adding buttermilk and dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix until just combined, then FOLD in egg whites, GENTLY!

Pour evenly into the three prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto cooling racks and allow to cool completely.

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Stir in chopped pecans and sugared coconut. Spread between layers and serve.

Note: cream cheese frosting will soften at room temperature, so refrigerate if you won’t use it right away.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Famous Pie Shop in DeValls Bluff AR

Been a while since I've been to see Mary (The Pie Shop Hwy 70 W (870) 998-2279) in DeVall's Bluff. This is what happened the last time I went...

I bought a whole EGG CUSTARD PIE...

What can I say, egg custard is my most favorite pie. My Nannie use to make a mean egg custard pie similar to the Pie Shop. If you're like me and can't get down the road to the Pie Shop often enough, do as I do, and make my Nannie's, just as delicious, egg custard pie. Recipe below... 

How to make Nannie's Egg Custard Pie similar to the Pie Shop...

4 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Unbaked pie shell

1.  Slightly beat eggs, add sugar and salt.
2.  Add milk and vanilla, mix well.
3.  Pour into unbaked pie shell and sprinkle with the nutmeg.
4.  Bake at 425 degrees F for about 30 minutes or until knife inserted in middle comes out clean.