Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Mexican Pork recipes

Cafe Rio Shredded Pork Salad

Night Before:
  • 3 ½ to 4 lb. Pork Roast (mine was almost 3 lbs)
  • 2 Tbs Brown sugar
  • 1 to 1 ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
Mix together and rub on pork roast. Put in crock pot on low. Cook all night. Next morning, add:
  • 1 can coke
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (I used garlic powder, about 1-2 t)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
Keep cooking all day in crock pot on Low.

About an hour before serving, shred roast and add:

1 cup brown sugar (1/3-1/2 was plenty for mine)

Serve this over shredded lettuce and crunched up tortilla chips and top with beans, pork, ranch dressing, cheese. Also great on rolls or tortillas.

I haven't been to Cafe Rio but this sounded so good. I found it on someone's blog. It is delicious and addictive. I did cook it all night but I decided only to cook it a few hours the next day because I was afraid it would dry out or something with all that cooking time. You can definitely cook it same-day with no problem, if you start in the a.m. Very good. Lots of leftovers.

Pork Barbacoa
  • pork loin 6-8 lbs (I use a boneless picnic roast, whatever that is)
  • 2 cans-tomato sauce (8 oz. can)
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cans-El Paso mexican red sauce (yellow can - 8 oz)
  • 1 T. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic or one fresh clove
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  1. Place pork loin in a large crock pot with cumin,garlic, salt, pepper, and enough water to cover the pork.(You can cut the pork into large chunks to make it fit if neccesary.)
  2. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours (For faster cooking cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours)
  3. Drain liquid from the pork and shread. Add the brown sugar, tomato sauce, and El Paso sauce. Mix well. Add a little water if needed.Cover and cook on high for 1 1/2-2 hours to concentrate flavors. Stir occasionally.

Serve on corn/flour tortillas.

This recipe is excellent too. I would just say it is a saucier take on sweet pork. Both are winners.

Rolo Cookies Easy

Rolo Cookies

  • 1 box Devil's food cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/2 pkg. Rolos candies
Mix the first three ingredients together and then roll into little balls with 1 rolo inside each ball ( try to make them as small as possible to maximize the rolo to dough ratio). Bake at 350 for 9 minutes. Makes about 30.

Russell bought a box of Devil's Food Cake Mix for our food storage so this recipe and the pumpkin one will really use our supply! The kids love these cookies because of the caramel inside. I like them just fine but I could take or leave them. The easiness of the prep is what is great for me.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cherry Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Cherry Chicken Lettuce Wraps
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root (I skip, but add a bit of ground ginger if you like)
  • 2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped (I cook mine in the crockpot with a little teriyaki sauce)
  • 2/3 c. chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
  • 2 t. honey or 1 T brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. craisins
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/3 cup toasted and sliced almonds (optional)
  • 12 leaves of lettuce (I used red leaf because it's healthier, but iceberg is crisp and rolls up better)
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together remaining 1 tablespoon oil, vinegar, teriyaki sauce and honey until mixed together. Add chicken mixture, craisins, mushrooms, carrot, green onion and almonds; toss together.
  2. To Serve: Spoon 1/12 of the chicken/cherry mixture onto the center of each lettuce leaf; roll up leaf around filling and serve.
These are fun to eat and tasty. A light meal. You might want to supplement it with a fruit salad or some rice. These are supposed to resemble PF Chang's lettuce wraps. You can make your own dipping sauce using teriyaki sauce, brown sugar, and garlic powder.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Dr. Pepper Cake

Dr. Pepper Cake

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup Dr. Pepper cola
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (I just added a little vinegar to milk for a sub)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar

  • Icing:

    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 3 tablespoons cocoa
    • 1/4 cup Dr. Pepper cola
    • 2-3 cups powdered sugar, to desired consistency
    1. Heat 1 cup of butter and Dr Pepper.
    2. Add the cocoa, cinnamon, flour and sugar to the butter mixture.
    3. Mix the eggs, buttermilk, soda and vanilla and add to the rest of the mixture.
    4. Pour into prepared 8 or 9 inch pans.
    5. Bake 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees.
    6. DR PEPPER ICING Heat butter, Dr Pepper and cocoa stirring until well blended.
    7. Stir in remaining ingredients.
    8. Frost cake.
    Very flavorful chocolate cake! Nice and moist. Tastes great cold and warmed up. I like the additional flavor these "soda cakes" provide.

    Thursday, April 24, 2008

    Award Winning Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Award Winning Chocolate Chip Cookies

    • 1 c. butter, softened (I use Imperial)
    • 3/4 c. brown sugar
    • 1/4 c. white sugar
    • 1 box (3.4 oz) vanilla instant pudding mix
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 t. vanilla
    • 1 t. baking soda
    • 2 1/4 c. flour
    • chocolate chips
    1. Cream butter and sugars
    2. Mix in pudding mix until blended.
    3. Stir in eggs and vanilla
    4. Add dry ingredients
    5. Cook in preheated 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. A soft, yummy cookie! I've tried a lot of choc chip cookie recipes and I make this one the most.

    Lemon Chicken

    our very yellow/orange meal
    Lemon Chicken

    • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast pieces
    • 1/2 cup flour
    • 1 T salt
    • 6 oz (1/2 can) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
    • 3 T brown sugar
    • 1 t balsamic vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)
    • 3 T ketchup
    • olive oil for browning chicken


    1. Cut chicken into strips or largish chunks.
    2. Dredge in flour and salt, shake off excess.
    3. Brown chicken in a skillet with a bit of olive oil (you are not trying to cook the chicken--just give it some color and get the flour mixture to stick a bit)
    4. Place into crockpot.
    5. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a separate bowl and pour over the top of chicken pieces.
    6. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours, low for 6-8.
    This was a good dish. As you can tell, I love recipes with sweet things in them! Call it a problem. This had a nice oriental flavor to its tanginess. I served it wrong though! Instead of Betty Crocker's Sweet Potatoes (don't try- they're gross!), I should have served with rice and stir-fry veggies or broccoli. We'll do that next time! Russell and Anika both want a next time. Isabelle didn't mind these and Olivia doesn't ever like much. About the flour part....I didn't notice that made much of a difference so next time I'll skip that part.

    Tuesday, April 22, 2008

    Laura's Sweet and Sour Meatballs

    Sweet and Sour Meatballs

    • 1 pkg frozen meatballs (or you can make your own but who wants to do that?)
    • 8 oz grape jelly
    • 2 t. lemon juice
    • 12 oz chile sauce

    1. Combine all ingredients in crockpot and cook on low for 3-6 hours.
    2. Serve over rice.
    I'm pretty sure this recipe is from Laura. It is surprisingly good. The meatballs are rich, so a few go a long way. I think this would taste good in a sub sandwich as well. The kids like it pretty well, too. How couldn't they- it's got grape jelly in it!

    Angela's Hot Fudge Sauce

    Hot Fudge Sauce
    6 T. butter
    2 C. powdered sugar

    1/3 C. cocoa
    1 C. evaporated milk

    1 tsp vanilla

    Melt butter. Add powdered sugar and cocoa, mix. Add milk. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Serve warm. Or it is easy to reheat in microwave as well.

    I used a can of evaporated milk that had its best by date 2005 and it still tasted good. I think it was a can I got from Mom's clean out pantry fiesta 18 months ago. This fudge is great. I like a little ice cream with my lots of fudge. Nice consistency too. Sorry my ice cream looks like an animal instead of two perfect round scoops.

    Simple Ingredients Hot Fudge Sauce
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 4 tablespoons flour
    • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
    • 2 cups milk
    • 4 tablespoons butter
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla


    In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Over medium heat, combine milk, butter and vanilla until the butter has melted. Add dry ingredients to the milk mixture, constantly whisking. Boil, stirring constantly until thick and smooth, about 5 minutes. Cool and refrigerate unused portion.

    Note: Can be reheated in a double-boiler, or microwave, as needed.

    Saturday, April 19, 2008

    Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Bars

    Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Bars

    • 1 cup shortening (I used Imperial and cut 2 T)
    • 3/4 cup sugar (I cut 2 T)
    • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
    • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I like to sprinkle 1/2 c. mini chips instead)
    • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
    In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in marshmallows, chips and walnuts. Spread into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 23-26 minutes or until golden brown (they will be moist still because of the marshmallows!) Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

    Russell and I gobble these up. The kids like them too but they don't get to eat them all day like the parents do. The marshmallow makes the perfect amount of moistness/gooeyness/sweetness.

    Thursday, April 17, 2008

    Szechwan Shrimp (or chicken)

    Szechwan Shrimp

    • 4 tablespoons water
    • 2 tablespoons ketchup
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
    • 1 teaspoon honey
    • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 12 ounces cooked shrimp, tails removed
    1. In a bowl, stir together water, ketchup, soy sauce, cornstarch, honey, crushed red pepper, and ground ginger. Set aside.
    2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in green onions and garlic; cook 30 seconds. Stir in shrimp, and toss to coat with oil. Stir in sauce. Cook and stir until sauce is bubbly and thickened.
    We love shrimp and have never used it in recipes before. We bought a big bag of salad shrimp at Sam's Club for about 8 dollars and it should go a long way. It worked well in place of the larger shrimp. I doubled the sauce and used a bag of frozen stir-fry veggies. This was great! Anika likes shrimp but O and I didn't. Russell loved it, and I enjoyed it, though next time we are trying an Orange Shrimp hopefully resembling P.F. Chang's!

    Wednesday, April 16, 2008

    Chicken Tacos (and variations)

    Chicken Taco Filling

    1 c. salsa (medium or mild)
    1/2-3/4 c. brown sugar
    2 chicken breasts

    Stir all together in crock pot and cook for 4-8 hours. Remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to crock pot and cook an additional hour.

    Make tacos with flour tortillas, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, olives, beans, and anything else you'd like.

    You can imagine your own picture on this one. It was a sweet filling with a little kick- we liked it. What doesn't taste better with a little brown sugar in it?

    Diana's Cafe Rio Chicken

    1 small bottle Kraft Zesty Italian
    1 T chili powder
    1 T cumin
    3 cloves garlic
    5 lb chicken breast

    4 hours on high. Shred, then cook 1 more hour.

    Bajio Chicken

    3 chicken breasts
    1/3 cup salsa
    1/2 T. cumin
    1/3 cup brown sugar
    1 4 oz. can diced green chilies
    1/2 can Sprite

    Combine all ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on low for 5-6 hours. Remove chicken and shred.

    So good with a spicy dressing, like Jalepeno Ranch! Offsets the sweet chicken, which is delicious!

    Monday, April 14, 2008

    Poppy Seed Chicken

    Poppy Seed Chicken

    • 2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
    • 2/3 c. sour cream
    • 1 can cream of chicken soup
    • 1 sleeve Ritz Crackers, crumbled
    • 2 T. poppy seeds
    • 1 cube melted butter (I use 6 T)

    1. Combine chicken, sour cream and soup in casserole bowl or pan.

    2. Mix crackers with melted butter and poppy seeds.

    3. Mix 3/4 cracker mixture with chicken mixture, sprinkle the rest on top

    4. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

    Feeds 4 adults. Kids like this- we all love it.

    Strawberry Romaine Salad

    Strawberry Romaine Salad
    • 3-4 cups romaine lettuce
    • 2/3 c. fresh strawberries, sliced
    • 1/4 c. sliced onion
    • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
    • 1 tablespoons white wine vinegar
    • 1 2/3 T white sugar
    • 2 T milk
    • 1 tablespoons poppy seeds
    1. In a large salad bowl, combine the romaine, spinach, strawberries and sliced onion.
    2. In a jar with a tight fitting lid, combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, milk and poppy seeds. Shake well and pour the dressing over salad. Toss until evenly coated.
    Really good! Easy to make, different, and tasty.

    Bring on the strawberries!

    Strawberry Shortbread Pie

    3/4 cup boiling water
    1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Brand Strawberry Flavor Gelatin
    3/4 cup cold water
    4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
    1-1/2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
    1 cup chopped strawberries (try using 1 1/2 cups)
    1 NILLA Pie Crust (6 oz.)
    1. STIR boiling water into dry gelatin in medium bowl at least 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Add cold water; stir. Beat cream cheese in large bowl with wire whisk until creamy. Gradually add gelatin, beating until well blended. Place bowl of gelatin into larger bowl of ice and water. Let stand 5 minutes or until thickened (consistency of unbeaten egg whites), stirring occasionally.
    2. ADD whipped topping; beat with wire whisk until well blended. Stir in strawberries. Refrigerate 20 to 30 minutes or until mixture is very thick and will mound.
    3. SPOON into crust. Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm. Garnish with additional whipped topping and strawberry halves just before serving, if desired.
    Mine didn't look as pretty as the one from Kraft, so I stole their picture. The setting of the jello takes way longer than 5 minutes! Try 20. I put mine in the freezer instead of the silly ice water bath to speed things up.

    Sunday, April 13, 2008

    Chicken in a Bicuit Roll-Ups

    Chicken in a Biscuit Roll-Ups

  • 2 tubes of buttermilk biscuits (10 count each)

  • 2 T. Red Pepper Italian dressing (or basil pesto)

  • 1 (6 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

  • 1 1/2 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded (or regular cooked chicken)

  • 3 Tbs red peppers, chopped

  • 2 Tbs Black olives, chopped

  • Fresh Parmesan Cheese

  • Marinara or Alfredo Sauce

    1. Lay biscuits on floured countertop to form a 9 x 11-in rectangle (4 biscuits down, 5 across.) Using flour as needed, press biscuits together well.
    2. Blend dressing into the cream cheese and spread mixture over entire surface of dough. Distribute chicken evenly over cream cheese. Sprinkle chopped peppers and olives over chicken.
    3. Carefully roll up from the long end and gently compact as you go. With seam side down, slice into 12 equal sections. Place slices, on their sides, into greased 10-inch round pan or cast iron skillet. Drizzle lightly with sauce and sprinkle with parmesan.
      Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees.
    These are delicious! I might recommend not cooking them in a round pan because they get too close to each other and the middle section takes longer to fully cook the dough. The chopped olives are great with the red peppers! From the picture you can't tell they are sweet-roll style- easier to get out pretty when they've cooled. Also- I think this would be even better with rhodes roll rolled out pizza style or similar pizza dough.

    Thursday, April 10, 2008

    Versatile Veggie Calzones

    Veggie Calzones

    6-8 Rhode's Dinner Rolls, thawed
    1 c. cottage cheese, pulsed in blender until smooth
    2 T. parmesan cheese
    Frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry, or
    diced tomatoes, red onions, fresh mushrooms, olives (all optional)
    shredded cheese

    Dipping sauce: we like Classico Vodka Sauce, but any marinara will do

    Roll out rolls one at a time or stretch with hands. Place a tablespoon cottage cheese mixture (you can use ricotta if desired), then add spinach or other veggie choices. Fold dough over and seal. Brush with melted butter.

    Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until light brown.

    Sadly our girls eat these with just cheese and sauce. Maybe in a few years?

    Tasty Brownies

    Tasty Brownies

    • 1 cup butter, melted
    • 1 3/4 c. sugar
    • 2 t. vanilla
    • 3 eggs (calls for 4 but I use a couple T water in place to save an egg!)
    • 2/3 c. cocoa
    • 1 2/3 c. flour
    • 1/2 t. salt
    • 1/2 t. baking powder

    Combine sugar and butter, then add vanilla and eggs, stirring well.
    Add dry ingredients and an optional

    -1 c. chocolate chips
    -1 c. pb chips or reeses pieces
    1 sleeve broken oreos, like pictured (taste better the next day!)

    Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. (30 for me)

    Tuesday, April 8, 2008

    Quick Yeast Rolls

    Quick Yeast Rolls

    • 2 tablespoons shortening
    • 3 tablespoons white sugar
    • 1 cup hot water
    • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease 8 muffin cups.
    2. In a large bowl, mix the shortening, sugar, and hot water. Allow to cool until lukewarm, and mix in the yeast until dissolved. Mix in the egg, salt, and flour. Allow the dough to rise until doubled in size. (Dough will be really sticky!)
    3. Divide the dough into the prepared muffin cups, and allow to rise again until doubled in size.
    4. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
    These are so fast. No kneading required! The flavor is great too. We make this weekly.

    Sunday, April 6, 2008

    Cinnamon Coffee Cake

    Cinnamon Coffee Cake

    1/2 c. oil
    2 beaten eggs
    1 c. milk
    3 c. flour
    1 1/2 c. sugar
    4 t. baking powder
    1 t. salt

    3/4 c. brown sugar
    3 T. flour
    3 t. cinnamon
    3 T. melted butter

    Combine oil, eggs, and milk. Add to dry ingredients. Mix well. Grease 9x13. Put batter in pan and sprinkle on topping.
    Bake 350 for 25 minutes. Delicious!

    Sour Cream Enchiladas

    Sour Cream Enchiladas

    1/2 lb ground beef or turkey OR 1 lb cubed chicken (I used 1 big chicken breast!)

    1 can refried beans
    1/4 onion, diced
    1 can diced green chilies (optional)
    8 oz sour cream
    1 can cream of chicken soup
    1 lb cheddar cheese, shredded (we use extra sharp)

    5-6 tortillas

    Saute the onion in a large frying pan on medium-high heat until translucent and slightly browned. Add the beef (or chicken) and cook until no longer pink. Add the refried beans and cook on low until mixture is heated thoroughly.

    In a medium mixing bowl mix together the soups, sour cream and the green chilies.

    Lay out all tortillas side by side. Place about 1/3 C of meat mixture down the center of each tortilla. Place a generous dollop (about 1/4 C- 1/2 C)of soup mixture on top of the meat mixture. Place a handful of cheese on top of the soup mixture (you will have some of both cheese and soup mixture left).

    Roll up each tortilla, burrito style. Place each rolled burrito touching one another, side by side on a large rectangular pan (it's okay if you need to use two pans for this). Evenly pour and spread out the remainder of the soup mixture over the top of the rolled burritos. Repeat with the remaining cheese.

    Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until bubbly and hot.

    Served with fruit salad (bananas, pineapple, apples with vanilla yogurt mixed in) and corn.

    Friday, April 4, 2008

    Spaghetti and Spaghetti Pie

    Spaghetti Pie

    • 1 pound spaghetti
    • 1 pound lean ground beef
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • garlic powder to taste
    • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper (optional)
    • 1 (26 ounce) jar pasta sauce
    • 3/4 cup sour cream
    • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
    • 1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
    • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

    1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
    2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    3. In a skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef. Drain and crumble. Put crumbled beef in skillet. Stir in salt, pepper, garlic powder, bell pepper and pasta sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
    4. In a small bowl combine sour cream, green onions and cream cheese and set aside. Coat a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray and add the cooked spaghetti. Spread the cream cheese mixture over it, add the meat mixture and sprinkle with Cheddar Cheese.
    5. Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for 5 more minutes until the cheese is bubbly.
    Easier to serve than spaghetti and a nice change from spaghetti. The cream topping might not be healthy but it sure is good! Try light sour cream and light cream cheese.

    Spaghetti Sauce

    2 cans diced tomatoes, Italian style or regular, or crushed tomatoes
    1 can tomato sauce
    1/2 c. diced onion (I cook mine along with the ground beef)
    ground beef
    1/2 pkg spaghetti seasoning
    1/2 T sugar, or to taste
    1 can tomato soup (I use sometimes to use up food storage and to give smooth consistency)
    any other seasonings or veggies you want to throw in. I like to cook the ground beef and then throw it all in the crock pot for a few hours.

    My kids love spaghetti. It is O's and I's favorite meal; maybe the only one O eats! We eat it with cottage cheese. May sound strange, but we all love it.

    Wednesday, April 2, 2008

    Chocolate Cake Cookies (healthy-ish)

    Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies

    • 1 box Devil's Food Cake Mix
    • 15 oz can pumpkin
    • 1 cup chocolate chips

    Mix all together and put on lightly greased cookie tray. Bake in preheated oven at 350 for 12 minutes, makes 36.

    Ack! Surprisingly good!

    They will stay moist and cake-like. They taste kind of like chocolate muffins; you can see from the picture they are fluffy and cake-like. And as a bonus they are kind of healthy! The kids love them, which is saying a lot because they usually get bored with my "normal" cookies and don't eat them.